Astronomers finds a 13.5 billion-year-old elusive star, with origins close to Big Bang.
The discovery of this approximately 13.5 billion-year-old tiny star means more stars with very low mass and very low metal content are likely out there — perhaps even the universe’s very first stars. The star is unusual because unlike other stars with very low metal content, it is part of the Milky Way’s “thin disk” — the part of the galaxy in which the sun resides. And because this star is so old, researchers say it’s possible that our galactic neighborhood is at least 3 billion years older than previously thought.
Lead author Kevin Schlaufman, a Johns Hopkins University assistant professor in the Physics and Astronomy Department, said:
“This star is maybe one in 10 million. It tells us something very important about the first generations of stars.”
The newly discovered star system orbits the galaxy on a circular orbit that, like the orbit of the Sun, never gets too far from the plane of the galaxy. On the other hand, most ultra metal-poor stars have orbits that take them across the galaxy and far from its plane.
The findings are set to be published in The Astrophysical Journal.
source Johns Hopkins University