HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Science » Science (Group) » How Can a Star Be Older T...

Thu Oct 17, 2019, 01:15 PM

How Can a Star Be Older Than the Universe?

By David Crookes - All About Space magazine a day ago Science & Astronomy

Space Mysteries: If the universe is 13.8 billion years old, how can a star be more than 14 billion years old?



This Digitized Sky Survey image shows the oldest star with a well-determined age in our galaxy.
Called the Methuselah star, HD 140283 is 190.1 light-years away. Astronomers refined the star's
age to about 14.3 billion years (which is older than the universe), plus or minus 800 million
years. Image released March 7, 2013. (Image: Digitized Sky Survey (DSS), STScI/AURA,
Palomar/Caltech, and UKSTU/AAO)

For more than 100 years, astronomers have been observing a curious star located some 190 light years away from Earth in the constellation Libra. It rapidly journeys across the sky at 800,000 mph (1.3 million kilometers per hour). But more interesting than that, HD 140283 or Methuselah as it's commonly known is also one of the universe's oldest known stars.

In 2000, scientists sought to date the star using observations via the European Space Agency's (ESA) Hipparcos satellite, which estimated an age of 16 billion years old. Such a figure was rather mind-blowing and also pretty baffling. As astronomer Howard Bond of Pennsylvania State University pointed out, the age of the universe determined from observations of the cosmic microwave background is 13.8 billion years old. "It was a serious discrepancy," he said.

Taken at face value, the star's predicted age raised a major problem. How could a star be older than the universe? Or, conversely, how could the universe be younger? It was certainly clear that Methuselah named in reference to a biblical patriarch who is said to have died aged 969, making him the longest lived of all the figures in the Bible was old, since the metal-poor subgiant is predominantly made of hydrogen and helium and contains very little iron. It's composition meant the star must have come into being before iron became commonplace.

. . .

Taking a closer look at the age of Methuselah
Bond and his colleagues set themselves to the task of figuring out whether or not that initial figure of 16 billion was accurate. They pored over 11 sets of observations that had been recorded between 2003 and 2011 by the Fine Guidance Sensors of the Hubble Space Telescope, which make a note of the positions, distances and energy output of stars. In acquiring parallax, spectroscopy and photometry measurements, a better sense of age could be determined.

More:
https://www.space.com/how-can-a-star-be-older-than-the-universe.html?utm_source=notification

8 replies, 612 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 8 replies Author Time Post
Reply How Can a Star Be Older Than the Universe? (Original post)
Judi Lynn Oct 17 OP
qazplm135 Oct 17 #1
Throck Oct 17 #2
Javaman Oct 18 #7
OhZone Oct 17 #3
PuppyBismark Oct 17 #4
Shell_Seas Oct 17 #5
cstanleytech Oct 17 #6
FiveGoodMen Oct 18 #8

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Thu Oct 17, 2019, 01:23 PM

1. How?

 

Practice.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Thu Oct 17, 2019, 01:31 PM

2. The universe happened when all the stars unionized.

Prior to that they were all rogue stars.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Throck (Reply #2)

Fri Oct 18, 2019, 10:00 AM

7. SAG...

Star Astronomy Guild...

LOL

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Thu Oct 17, 2019, 01:45 PM

3. Methuselah texted me.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Thu Oct 17, 2019, 02:09 PM

4. But but but... the universe is less than a million years old

The Bible says so. Fake news!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Thu Oct 17, 2019, 02:41 PM

5. That's probably where all the deities live.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Thu Oct 17, 2019, 03:48 PM

6. 14.3 - 800 equals 13.5 which is within range.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Oct 18, 2019, 12:58 PM

8. The star was a proof-of-concept

Once its viability was established, the construction of the rest of the universe was approved.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread