Journal Article

The quest for the Sun's siblings: an exploratory search in the <i>Hipparcos</i> Catalogue

Anthony G. A. Brown, Simon F. Portegies Zwart and Jennifer Bean

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 407, issue 1, pages 458-464
Published in print September 2010 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online August 2010 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2010.16921.x
The quest for the Sun's siblings: an exploratory search in the Hipparcos Catalogue

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We describe the results of a search for the remnants of the Sun's birth cluster among stars in the Hipparcos Catalogue. This search is based on the predicted phase-space distribution of the Sun's siblings from simple simulations of the orbits of the cluster stars in a smooth Galactic potential. For stars within 100 pc, the simulations show that it is interesting to examine those that have small space motions relative to the Sun. From amongst the candidate siblings thus selected, there are six stars with ages consistent with that of the Sun. Considering their radial velocities and abundances only one potential candidate, HIP 21158, remains, but essentially the result of the search is negative. This is consistent with predictions by Portegies Zwart on the number of siblings near the Sun. We discuss the steps that should be taken in anticipation of the data from the Gaia mission in order to conduct fruitful searches for the Sun's siblings in the future.

Keywords: Sun: general; Galaxy: kinematics and dynamics; open clusters and associations: general; solar neighbourhood

Journal Article.  5243 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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