Oldest Star Is Older than Universe
Back in 2013 analysis of a fast moving star, HD 140283, resulted in a ridiculous age. I noticed this is now making some sensational stories, because HD 140283 is called the Methusaleh star.
A study published in 2013 used the Fine Guidance Sensors of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope to measure a precise parallax (and therefore distance and luminosity) for the star, and employ this information to estimate an age for the star of 14.46 ± 0.8 billion years. Due to the uncertainty in the value, this age for the star may or may not conflict with the calculated age of the Universe as determined by the final 2015 Planck Satellite results of 13.799 ± 0.021 billion.
This study questions two important items: a) our age of the universe,
b) the method used to calculate the age of a star.
Since this star is older than the universe, one or both of those important items is probably wrong.
Since the age of the universe value drives almost everything in modern cosmology I expect they will somehow explain a different age for this star and probably not change the accepted calculation technique.
In response to comment I added:
HD 140283, has been known about for more than a century because of its fast motion across the sky.
It is about 200 light years away.
I suspect the mass distribution in our 200ly region to be similar.
I know this sounds too cynical but: Is dark matter the cause of this unusual fast motion of a star past the Sun??
I added another comment:
The age of the star depends on models based on the progression of fusing elements.
Wikipedia has more info on this star.
HD 140283 has an excesses of oxygen and the alpha elements relative to iron.While the proportions of these elements is much lower in HD 140283 than in the Sun, they are not as low as is the case for iron. The implication is that the first population of stars generated the alpha elements preferentially to other groups of elements, including the iron peak and s-process. Unlike those other metal-poor stars, HD 140283 has a detectable amount of lithium, a consequence of HD 140283 having not yet evolved into a red giant and thus has not yet undergone the first dredge-up.
In my view this star departs from their model so they just guessed at an age and eventually someone realized that was a ridiculous guess.
Hit back to go to previous page in history.
Here is the list of topics in this Cosmology Topic Group .
Ctrl + for zoom in; Ctrl - for zoom out ; Ctrl 0 for no zoom;
triple-tap for zoom to fit; pinch for zoom change; pinched for no zoom