Researchers discover oldest star ever in universe
Australian astronomers have claimed that they have found a star that is 13.6 billion years old, making it the most ancient star.
They believe that the star was formed a couple of hundred million years after the Big Bang that brought the Universe into being, News24.com reported.
Stefan Keller at the Australian National University said that the Methuselah star is, in cosmic terms, relatively close to us, asserting that it lies in the Milky Way, at a distance of around 6000 light years from Earth.
He said that telltale sign that the star is so ancient is the complete absence of any detectable level of iron in the spectrum of light emerging from the star.
Keller explained that the iron level of the universe increases with time as successive generations of stars form and die.
He said that the iron abundance of a star as a qualitative clock telling us when the star was formed.
Keller claimed that in the case of this star, the amount of iron present is less than one millionth that of the Sun and a factor of at least 60 times less than any other known star, thus indicating that it is the most ancient yet found.
(Posted on 11-02-2014)