Detected the oldest solar twin known

03-05-2017 purpleunicornzzzzz

An international team led by Brazilian astronomers have used the Very Large Telescope of ESO to identify and study the oldest solar twin known. Located 250 light years from Earth, the star HIP 102152 is closer to the Sun than any other sun "brother", with the exception of having nearly four billion years. This primitive but practically identical twin gives us an unprecedented opportunity to see how it will look when the sun age. Also, new observations provide for the first time, an important and clear link between the age of a star and its lithium content, and further suggest that HIP 102152 could house rocky terrestrial planets.
Astronomers have observed the Sun through telescopes for only 400 years, a fraction of the age of the tiny star, who has more than four billion years. Thus, it is extremely difficult to study the history and future evolution of our star, but it is possible if we look unusual stars with the same features but at different stages of their lives. New but old identical twin of the Sun could help overcome this difficulty.
Jorge Melendez, and his team studied two solar twins, one which, it believed, was younger than the Sun and the other was expected to be higher. The UVES spectrograph installed at the Very Large Telescope at ESO's Paranal Observatory was used to decompose the light from these stars so we can study in great detail the chemical composition and other properties.
They found that HIP 102152 in the constellation of Capricorn, is the oldest solar twin known so far. It is estimated that owns about 8,200 million years, compared with the 4,600 million years of our own sun. On the other hand, it was confirmed that the star 18 Scorpii was indeed younger than our star.
The study of ancient solar twin HIP 102152 allow scientists to predict what might happen to our Sun when it reaches that age. So far, he has already revealed one inógnita on its composition: why lithium content is so low it surprisingly ?. Lithium, third element of the periodic table, was created in the Big Bang along with hydrogen and helium. For years, astronomers have wondered why some stars seem to have less lithium than others. With new observations of HIP 102152, it has taken a big step toward solving this mystery, to determine a strong correlation between the age of a star like the Sun and the content of this element. ?? Currently our Sun contains only 1% of the original battery that had the material from which it formed. However, HIP 102152 has very low levels of lithium, which clearly shows that the oldest solar twins actually have less lithium than our own sun and solar younger twins. "Now we can be sure that the stars destroy lithium somehow made that as they age," the scientists conclude.