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Astronomers Discover Sun's Sibling That Could Host Life Containing Planets

Update Date: May 10, 2014 03:57 PM EDT

Researchers have found the Sun's "long-lost brother" which is believed to be born from the same cloud of gas and dust as our Sun. 

Researchers said, there's a "small, but not zero" chance that the newly discovered start could host planets that contain life.

"We want to know where we were born," said team leader Ivan Ramirez, an astronomer from The University of Texas at Austin, in a press release. "If we can figure out in what part of the galaxy the sun formed, we can constrain conditions on the early solar system. That could help us understand why we are here."

The star dubbed 'HD 162826' is 15 percent more massive than the Sun and is located 110 light-years away in the constellation Hercules. The star is also visible with a pair of low-power binoculars. 

"Stars that were born in different clusters have different compositions. If a star has the exact same chemical composition as our sun, that establishes that they were born in the same place," added Ramirez. 

Sun has been formed from an immense cloud of gas and space dust that give rise to 1,000 to 10,000 stars. 

"It is almost certain that if there is another star like this one this close to us, we would have found it already. So the next siblings we find are going to be further away," Ramirez noted.

"There are number of surveys that are happening right now that will allow us to learn more about stars beyond the solar neighborhood. Right now there are about 100,000 stars we can look at in this way. In five or 10 years it could be as many as a billion," he added in the press release.

The research will be published in the Astrophysical Journal.

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