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23. 03. 2018


A Star Grazed Our Solar System 70,000 Years Ago, and Early Humans Likely Saw It

By Mike Wall, Space.com Senior Writer | March 21, 2018 11:50

At a time when modern humans and Neanderthals were sharing the Earth, Scholz’s star approached to a distance of less than 1 light-year from our planet.

Credit: José A. Peñas/SINC

Some distant objects in our solar system bear the gravitational imprint of a small star’s close flyby 70,000 years ago, when modern humans were already walking the Earth, a new study suggests.

In 2015, a team of researchers announced that a red dwarf called Scholz’s star apparently grazed the solar system 70,000 years ago, coming closer than 1 light-year to the sun. For perspective, the sun’s nearest stellar neighbor these days, Proxima Centauri, lies about 4.2 light-years away. The astronomers came to this conclusion by measuring the motion and velocity of Scholz’s star — which zooms through space with a smaller companion, a brown dwarf or “failed star” — and extrapolating backward in time.

Scholz’s star passed by the solar system at a time when early humans and Neanderthals shared the Earth. The star likely appeared as a faint reddish light to anyone looking up at the time, researchers with the new study said.  (…………..)

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