Greenbeast (11th February 2014)
Link: Oldest known star in the Universe discovered - Science - News - The Independent
...The team from Australian National University (ANU) say that the star, located around 6,000 light years away from Earth, is roughly 13.6 billion years old. This means it was formed just a few million years after the Big Bang, thought to have occurred some 13.8 billion years ago.
The discovery of the star, which is located within our own Galaxy, was described by lead researcher Dr Stefan Keller as a “one in a 60 million chance.”...
so not bruce forsyth then?
Right, so, my understanding of astrophysics barely even qualifies as amateur. Enthusiastic might be the best word.
But... I'm surprised a star that old is that close. If it was 13.6 billion years old and 13 billion light years away, you'd be seeing an early star. Lovely. But that old and only 6,000 light years away? It's been alive for 13.6 billion years, almost the lifespan of the Universe? I didn't think stars could survive so long and all the first generation stars had long since exploded.
Am I being really thick or is this something our models don't predict?
Link: Oldest Star Found
The other thing to consider is that currently many [most?] astronomers accept The Big Bang as the method of creating The Universe: Space and time came into existence in that event and began to expand from there. Objects that are shown to be very distant are know to be very old as it has taken a long time for the light from that object to reach us. This does not mean that very old objects cannot exist closer to us....First generation stars are predominantly tens or hundreds of times more massive than the Sun. They live fast, die young and have not survived to the present day. The second generation star we have discovered is, on the other hand, a little smaller than the Sun providing it with an enormous lifespan of over 13 billion years...
Not sure I have explained this very clearly [Have to go now: Been called to a classroom]
sonofsanta (11th February 2014)
well noticed SOS, I did think it sound a ridiculously small distance away but couldn't put my finger on why that bothered me.
I knew the relation between far-away-so-really-old-and-probably-not-there-now-not-that-now-has-any-meaning-in-a-relativistic-Universe, but I didn't realise stars were expected to have such long life spans, which was why the proximity surprised me. These reports are more normally "we've seen a star formed not long after the Big Bang, because we saw it really bloody far away" so this is something out of the ordinary in that regard.
Here's El Reg's version of the story (I read yesterday): SkyMapper turns up oldest star ever found
Needless to say my head exploded and my neck's experienced a pleasent breeze ever since (thank's to Weird Al for the imagery).
The Universe isn't growing, it's inflating (that's the term they use, IIRC) - the usual analogy is that all the points on the surface of a balloon exist before you blow it up, but when it's filled with air they're just further apart. The balloon itself doesn't consist of any extra matter (ignoring the air), that matter just goes further.
To quote a Terry Pratchett line - "In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded."
EDIT - got it wrong, WHICH exploded is correct
Last edited by themightymrp; 11th February 2014 at 12:16 PM.
themightymrp (11th February 2014)
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