Astronomers Spotted A Star That’s 13.5 Billion Years Old


The Solar System is exceptionally old by our standards. The Sun which is sitting at its center is thought to be over 4.6 billion years old, and this is a quite a massive amount of time for us.

There’s one particular new survey which reveals that a star from the Milky Way galaxy is a lot older than anyone believed so far. The elderly star is called 2MASS J18082002–5104378 B, and it’s 13.5 billion years old.

The star gave away its age due to its incredibly low mass and metal content as well. Researchers believe that newer stars tend to be very high in metal and this one is incredibly low.

It’s a very small star, and it weighs about 1/10th of the mass of our Sun.

The star’s small size helped it stay alive for so long

“We’ve never discovered a star so low mass and made of so few grams of metals,” astrophysicist Andrew Casey, co-author of the study published in The Astrophysical Journal, told ScienceAlert.

“This discovery tells us that the very first stars in the Universe didn’t have to all be massive stars that died long ago. These ancient stars could form from very small amounts of material, which means some of those relics from soon after the Big Bang could still exist today.”

If you are wondering how this star managed to remain alive for such a long time, the answer is not that complicated.

It seems that its small size plays in its favor as very large stars usually burn through their fuel much faster than the particularly tiny ones.

The star breaks the known mass limit to facilitate the burning of hydrogen, and this means that it’s using its fuel over billions of years.

Its small size and such dim shine made this star so hard to spot, and the team suggested that there might be plenty of other ultra-old stars sitting around the Milky Way that remained undetected because they’re not spotted easily.


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