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Does The Sun Have An Evil Twin?

Nemesis is a hypothetical astronomical object, more precisely a red dwarf or brown dwarf star, orbiting the Sun at a distance of (approximately) 50,000 to 100,000 astronomical units, just beyond the Oort Cloud. Is it responsible for the mass exctinction?

he two authors focused the extinction on the intensity of fossil families of marine vertebrates, invertebrates and protozoa, identifying 12 extinction events in the time period considered. The challenge of identifying a non-terrestrial mechanism has been faced by several astronomers.

Two teams of astronomers (Whitmire & Jackson and the Davis, Hut and Muller team) independently published similar hypotheses in 1984 to explain the mass extinctions advanced by Raup and Sepkoski in the journal Nature. One of these hypotheses proposes that the sun could have an undefined companion star, in a very wide elliptical orbit, which would periodically disturb the Oort Cloud, causing an increase in the number of comets traveling towards the center of ours. Solar system with a consequent increase in any impacts on the Earth.

This hypothetical star takes the name of Nemesis or, as it was promptly renamed by the media, Death Star (“Star of Death”, the name of the Star Wars Death Star).

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