Astronomers found a twin star to Earth's own sun which is much older. The rare star is the oldest known solar twin and can tell what Earth's star will look like in 4 billion years. The star, called HIP 102152, appears to be as similar to the Sun in its basic characteristics as any other known star. The sun is only 4.6 billion years old, HIP 102152 is 8.2 billion years old.
HIP 102152 is located about 250 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Capricornus (the Sea Goat), and was observed with the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile. One of the most basic elements on the Periodic Table, lithium was created in the Big Bang, along with hydrogen and helium. Sun contains just 1 percent of the lithium that was present in the gas cloud that birthed it.
It was found that HIP 102152 has even less lithium than the Sun. Previous research concluded that younger stars contain more lithium than older stars. However, the discovery of HIP 102152 allowed scientists to formulate a clear correlation between age and lithium content for sun-like stars.
The new study also discovered another interesting fact about HIP 102152, suggesting this star is even more sun-like than it seems. Both HP 102152 and the sun are deficient in certain elements, which happen to be common in Earth and in meteorites from space. This can hint that rocky, terrestrial planets like Earth might orbit HIP 102152 and the newly discovered Sun also supports life.
Who: HIP 102152
Where: constellation of Capricornus
What: discovered by astronauts
When: 2 September 2013
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