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Natalie Wolchover, Life's Little Mysteries Staff Writer
Date: 04 March 2011
Weeks after a story shot across the Web claiming that the imminent explosion of a nearby star would result in the appearance of a second sun in the sky – a story that was later debunked – two suns were caught on camera yesterday in China. The suns – one fuzzy and orange, the other a crisp yellow orb – appeared side-by-side, one slightly higher than the other.
Getting WISE about Nemesis
Summary: Is our Sun part of a binary star system? An unseen companion star, nicknamed “Nemesis,” may be sending comets towards Earth. If Nemesis exists, NASA’s new WISE telescope should be able to spot it.
A dark object may be lurking near our solar system, occasionally kicking comets in our direction.
Nicknamed “Nemesis” or “The Death Star,” this undetected object could be a red or brown dwarf star, or an even darker presence several times the mass of Jupiter.
Does the Sun Have a Dark Companion?
June 28, 1982
When scientists noticed that Uranus wasn't following its predicted orbit for example, they didn't question their theories. Instead they blamed the anomalies on an as yet unseen planet and, sure enough, Neptune was discovered in 1846.
Now astronomers are using the same strategy to explain quirks in the orbits of Uranus and Neptune. According to John Anderson of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., this odd behavior suggests that the sun has an unseen companion, a dark star gravitationally bound to it but billions of miles away.