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Scientists solve mystery of why star pair has more than million-year age gap

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Scientists solve mystery of why star pair has more than a million-year age gap

Scientists believe they have solved the mystery of why a strange pair of stars thousands of light years away has more than a million-year age gap.

Star pairs are usually very similar in age, like twins, the researchers said – but in case of the HD 148937 star system, one is around 1.4 million years older then the other.

The team believes HD 148937 had a violent past involving a third star that forever altered its fate.

Analysing data from the European Southern Observatory (ESO), it believes there were originally three stars in the system but two of them clashed and merged, creating a “beautiful” cloud of gas and dust, or nebula, surrounding HD 148937.

This merger likely occurred around 2.6 million years ago, where the newly formed star also became magnetic, unlike its older counterpart.

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