No star is born alone, as these cosmic bodies are usually created in nurseries together with thousands of others. The same happened to our sun, which now remained an isolated star. However, researchers decided to go on a quest for the solar siblings, and selected about 340,000 stars to analyze their DNA.
What are the solar siblings?
When the sun came into being, it belonged to a stellar nursery together with its solar siblings. However, the Milky Way had a powerful tidal force which displaced them and set them in different places in the galaxy. However, since they were produced in the same manner, they still bear some chemical similarities that tie them together.
Therefore, finding the solar siblings meant finding these chemical ties. For this, researchers selected 340,000 stars spread all over the Milky Way and deciphered their composition and DNA. For this, they used a special spectrograph called HERMES, a tool that looked at the spectra of all these stars. Apart from finding the solar siblings, the aim of the survey was also to find out more about our galaxy.
This is the first compilation of the Milky Way stars
These findings are pretty remarkable, as it’s the first time when a tool looked at so many stars at once. R researchers got a complete set of the first clusters formed in the Milky Way. Also, they could identify the parent cluster of the sun and its solar siblings.
A spectrograph separates the light emitted by stars in two wavelengths. By looking at these, researchers could trace several chemical elements. By looking at which elements are the most abundant, they could group stars together and find their nurseries. Therefore, those stars similar to the sun are its solar siblings.
Of course, this process is no easy one. The survey has to use a colossal amount of data which needs time for processing. After many efforts, all the results were published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
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