Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Evidence Mounts For Companion Star To Our Sun

By Aussiegirl

Our new solar system companion, Sedna, seems to show that our sun has a gravitationally bound sister star -- but where is it? I can't see anything else in the sky that could serve as our second sun. It must be very far away, but how far? This article doesn't discuss this, so I found this Wikipedia article about binary star systems, but it doesn't help much either. How frustrating!
(The illustration that accompanies this post is an artist's conception of the planetoid Sedna. And here's the origin of its name: Sedna is an Inuit goddess who created the sea creatures of the Arctic.)

Evidence Mounts For Companion Star To Our Sun

The Binary Research Institute (BRI) has found that orbital characteristics of the recently discovered planetoid, "Sedna", demonstrate the possibility that our sun might be part of a binary star system. A binary star system consists of two stars gravitationally bound orbiting a common center of mass.
Once thought to be highly unusual, such systems are now considered to be common in the Milky Way galaxy.

Walter Cruttenden at BRI, Professor Richard Muller at UC Berkeley, Dr. Daniel Whitmire of the University of Louisiana, amongst several others, have long speculated on the possibility that our sun might have an as yet undiscovered companion. Most of the evidence has been statistical rather than physical.

The recent discovery of Sedna, a small planet like object first detected by Cal Tech astronomer Dr. Michael Brown, provides what could be indirect physical evidence of a solar companion. Matching the recent findings by Dr. Brown, showing that Sedna moves in a highly unusual elliptical orbit, Cruttenden has determined that Sedna moves in resonance with previously published orbital data for a hypothetical companion star. [....]

Walter Cruttenden agrees that Sedna's highly elliptical orbit is very unusual, but noted that the orbit period of 12,000 years is in neat resonance with the expected orbit periodicity of a companion star as outlined in several prior papers. Consequently, Cruttenden believes that Sedna's unusual orbit is something indicative of the current solar system configuration, not merely a historical record.

"It is hard to imagine that Sedna would retain its highly elliptical orbit pattern since the beginning of the solar system billions of years ago. Because eccentricity would likely fade with time, it is logical to assume Sedna is telling us something about current, albeit unexpected solar system forces, most probably a companion star".

Outside of a few popular articles, and Cruttenden's book "Lost Star of Myth and Time", which outlines historical references and the modern search for the elusive companion, the possibility of a binary partner star to our sun has been left to the halls of academia. But with Dr. Brown's recent discoveries of Sedna and Xena, (now confirmed to be larger than Pluto), and timing observations like Cruttenden's, the search for a companion star may be gaining momentum.


At 12:24 PM, Blogger Timothy Birdnow said...

Fascinating piece!

Most stars are part of binary systems,or clusters; a single star is very unusual.

Scientists have even named this possible junior partner to our sun-Nemesis. They have named it that because they think it may be responsible for the periodic bombardment of the inner solar system by comets. Something disturbs the Oort cloud and causes the comets to fall into the inner system. These times of heavy comet activity seem periodic enough to make scientists suspect that some large mass-a super Jovian planet or a small red or brown dwarf star-is passing through and disturbing their orbits.

It`s interesting to see that we may have a kid brother star nearby!


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