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Young stars shed light on young sun

10:17am, October 23, 2001

Ah, the tempestuousness of youth. Studies of a group of young sunlike stars in the Orion nebula suggest that these infants throw tantrums–flares accompanied by intense X rays–more frequently than some researchers had thought. If our own sun was as active in its youth, then it could be the source of isotopes, such as aluminum-26, calcium-41, and beryllium-10, commonly found in meteorites.

Many researchers have assumed that the isotopes were generated by a nearby supernova explosion, rather than intense activity from the youthful sun, says Eric Feigelson of Pennsylvania State University in State College.

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