Scientists have recently discovered a pair of Sun-like stars at around 350 light years away from the Earth. One of the twin stars, according to the scientists, may have also devoured a dozen or more of its own rocky planets.
Researchers from the Princeton University in the US have confirmed that this pair of widely separated twin stars is, in fact, a binary pair.
As per the University report, the stars have been named after two mythological characters: Titan Kronos and his brother Krios. While the planet-ingesting star has been names Kronos, a character in mythology known to have devoured his children, including Poseidon (better known as the planet Neptune), Hades (Pluto) and three daughters, the other star in the pair has been given the name Krios. The official designations of the stars are HD 240430 and HD 240429.
The researchers, according to the report, have also observed a strikingly unusual chemical abundance pattern of Kronos. While other co-moving star pairs have been discovered with different chemistry, none has been as dramatic as Kronos and Krios, said Semyeong Oh, a graduate student at Princeton.
"Most stars that are as metal-rich as Kronos have all the other elements enhanced at a similar level, whereas Kronos has volatile elements suppressed, which makes it really weird in the general context of stellar abundance patterns," she mentioned in the report.
The report mentions that Kronos had an extraordinarily high level of rock-forming minerals, such as magnesium, aluminum, silicon, iron, chromium and yttrium, but it did not have the equally high amount of volatile compounds, which are most often found in gas form, like oxygen, carbon, nitrogen and potassium.
As per the report, both the stars are about four billion years old and they are both yellow G-type starts, just like our Sun. Kronos and Krios orbit each other infrequently, on the order of every 10,000 years or so.
Binary stars should have matching radial velocities, say experts. Scientists have found matching velocities in this case, which proves that Kronos and Krios are indeed a binary pair, although, they are situated two light years away from each other.