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Scientists Think We Had Two Suns. The Dead One Could Be a Black Hole Now

The Sun's dead twin could be lurking nearby as a black hole.
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The Sun had a twin and there could be numerous undiscovered planets in the solar system. That’s what scientists from Harvard University think. 

In a paper published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, Dr. Avi Loeb, Professor of Science at Harvard and undergraduate student Amir Siraj hypothesize the Sun may not have been alone during the early stages of the Solar System’s formation. 

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“Most Sun-like stars are born with binary companions,” said Siraj.

A binary star system is two stars circling each other with planets revolving around them. Stars like our Sun typically form along with clusters of other stars. According to Loed and Siraj, the Sun’s twin would have had a similar mass, but it was thrown out of orbit by gravity from passing stars. 

“Passing stars in the birth cluster would have removed the companion from the Sun through their gravitational influence,” said Loeb. 

One of the key evidence that led to their proposition is the numerous amount of objects in the Solar System. 

“Binary systems are far more efficient at capturing objects than single stars,” added Loeb. 

Loeb was referring to the Oort Cloud, a region in the Solar System that is replete with icy objects such as comets. 

“It would imply that the Sun did, in fact, have a companion of similar mass that was lost before the Sun left its birth cluster.”

For many years, a powerful gravitational anomaly in the Solar System has baffled scientists, prompting them to theorize that a giant planet more massive than Jupiter is lurking somewhere beyond Neptune and affecting the orbit of objects beyond the last planet as they travel around the sun. They have since dubbed the mystery object Planet Nine

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Planet Nine is speculated to be a type of “super” Earth which has a mass of approximately 15 times than our planet. 

Since 2012, scientists and many of the Earth’s telescopes have been searching for Planet Nine. But even the Earth’s most powerful telescopes have yet to get a glimpse of the hypothetical planet. One reason is that it is not reflecting light because it is actually a black hole

Scientists believe it is possible for a black hole to exist in our Solar System, but it will be much smaller than Earth. Black holes can be the size of an apple and have tremendous gravitational effects on the orbit of planets and objects in the solar system.

Also Read: A Black Hole the Size of Your Fist Could be Hiding in the Solar System

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Mario Alvaro Limos
Features Editor, Esquire Philippines
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