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Fraser
2017-Jun-14, 08:40 PM
According to a new study by a research team from UC Berkeley and Harvard, our Sun may have had a binary twin that it lost billions of years ago.
The post The Sun Probably Lost a Binary Twin Billions of Years Ago (https://www.universetoday.com/136044/sun-probably-lost-binary-twin-billions-years-ago/) appeared first on Universe Today (https://www.universetoday.com).


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Hornblower
2017-Jun-14, 10:46 PM
In my opinion Mr. Williams has given us a flawed account of what the researchers are inferring. A case in point is in the final paragraph, where he says, "it is possible (and even highly plausible) that billions of years ago, the Solar planets orbited around two stars." That could be misinterpreted by a novice reader as having the orbits of the planets enclosing both stars. This, along with a couple of whoppers in which he referred to Alpha and Beta Centauri as a binary pair, and to Sirius as a supergiant, cause me to have reasonable doubt about the reliability of this article.

When I focus on actual quotes from the researchers, I see a wide binary with upwards of 500 AU of separation. It would be possible for each star to have a set of protoplanets in stable orbits whose radii are small compared to the binary orbit, and gravitational interactions with other stars in the stellar nursery could break up the binary without seriously perturbing the planets.

CaptainToonces
2017-Jun-16, 07:14 AM
Are the twins always equal mass?

DaveC426913
2017-Jun-16, 01:38 PM
Are the twins always equal mass?

You mean in typical binary pairs? Absolutely not.

In fact, it's very common to have a tiny white dwarf whipping around a massive red giant, stripping its layers off.
22390

CaptainToonces
2017-Jun-16, 04:09 PM
You mean in typical binary pairs? Absolutely not.

In fact, it's very common to have a tiny white dwarf whipping around a massive red giant, stripping its layers off.
22390

No, I'm talking about during the formation of sun-sized stars.

Hornblower
2017-Jun-18, 02:48 AM
No, I'm talking about during the formation of sun-sized stars.
No, they would not necessarily be of equal mass. There could be a wide range of mass ratios, depending on the initial distribution of mass in the primordial clouds of gas in star-forming regions.