Everyone knows that if you eat 15 garlic cloves, you'll have terrible garlic breath. But apparently a star known as HD 240430 did not get that memo—it's eaten about 15 Earths worth of rocky planets, as astrophysicists concluded from the planetary equivalent of the stench of garlic in its chemical signature. They explain their argument in a paper recently posted to the physics pre-print site arxiv. The scientists had been looking at HD 240430 and a similar star, HD 240429, to try to decide whether they were a binary pair, which would mean they orbit each other. With two light-years of empty space between them, they're awfully far apart for a pair—the cut-off for what astronomers call a "wide binary" is stars with a distance of just 500 times our distance to the Sun, less than one percent of a light-year. But they do look eerily similar: They're both yellowish G-type stars like our own Sun, and about 4 billion years old. A little extra nosing around from the researchers confirmed they orbit each other—but also showed that they aren't quite so similar in terms of their chemical makeup.
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