Dinosaurs

The Sun may have had an 'evil twin' that wiped out the dinosaurs

While many have believed that an ill-placed meteor wiped out the dinosaurs, new research shows that may not have been the full story behind it.

It could have been the sun -- or at least the sun's brother.

According to a new research paper from a theoretical physicist at the University of California and a Harvard University astronomer, most stars are born with a sibling or a "brother," with our sun no exception to the rule.

"Under the assumption that both stars remain embedded following binary breakup, we find a total star formation rate of 168 Myr^-1," the synopsis of the paper reads. "Alternatively, one star may be ejected from the dense core due to binary breakup."

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It's likely that the sun's twin could have been significantly far apart from its sibling, perhaps as much as 46.5 billion miles away, or 17 times the distance between the sun and Neptune.

The research ran a series of tests to determine the likelihood of the existence of the second star, highlighting that it's possible that the number of stars could be "double what is currently believed."

The brother of the sun, dubbed Nemesis, may have actually had a hand in directing the asteroid towards Earth which led to the mass extinction 65 million years ago. 

In the 1980s, two University of Chicago paleontologists theorized the mass extinction was caused by an unknown source from space, but finding it proved to be fruitless.

Though the paper suggests the Sun had a sibling, there has been no concrete proof of it. Co-author Steve Stahler, a research astronomer at UC Berkely did note, however, that there "probably was a Nemesis, a long time ago."