Monday, February 10, 2014

The oldest known star observed - The World

The star is 6,000 light years from Earth, which is relatively close to the astronomical scale.

After eleven years of work, a team from the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the Australian National University was able to observe the chemical fingerprint of this “first star”, which was formed shortly after the Big Bang, there are 13.7 billion years, said Dr. Stefan Keller, head of research.

If the researchers’ calculations are correct, this star was formed about 200 million years after the Big Bang. Previously, the oldest stars identified – described respectively in 2007 and 2013 by European and American teams – had 13.2 billion years to count


“It gives us a glimpse of our fundamental place in the universe. What we observe is the origin of all the materials we need to live “, has he said. The star is located in the Milky Way galaxy, about 6,000 light-years from Earth, and his number in the catalog of the Universe is SMSS J0313000.36-670839.3. She is one of 60 million stars photographed by SkyMapper telescope during its first year of operation. Dr. Keller, whose research is published in the latest issue of the journal Nature :

“This is the first time we formally able to say that we are in the presence of data from the first generation of stars. Now we can put this piece into place in the puzzle. “

Initially, the Big Bang created a universe filled with hydrogen, helium and a hint of lithium. All other elements that exist today were forged in stars, born in clouds of gas and left behind by supernova dust explosion giant stars at the end of life.

incessant recycling of these elements can be used by astrophysicists to estimate the age of a star, as the iron concentration is growing as and when successive reincarnations. In other words, unless there is iron in a star the more it is old. “The iron in the universe increases over time, as and when generations of stars form and die” , summarizes Mr. Keller. “We can use the amount of iron in a star as a” clock “that tells us when it was formed. “ ” In the case of our star, the amount of iron is less than a millionth of that of our sun, and at least sixty times less than in any other star. This means that our star is the oldest ever discovered to date “, says the researcher.

According to the study published in Nature This would star after a supernova of low energy, which weighed about 60 times that of the Sun.

Read (subscriber edition): The remains of a minor planet orbiting a dying star

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