Skip to comments.Strange 'Methuselah' Star Looks Older Than the Universe
Posted on 03/08/2013 5:17:11 AM PST by Sir Napsalot
The oldest known star appears to be older than the universe itself, but a new study is helping to clear up this seeming paradox.
Previous research had estimated that the Milky Way galaxy's so-called "Methuselah star" is up to 16 billion years old. That's a problem, since most researchers agree that the Big Bang that created the universe occurred about 13.8 billion years ago.
The uncertainty Bond refers to is plus or minus 800 million years, which means the star could actually be 13.7 billion years old younger than the universe as it's currently understood, though just barely. Now a team of astronomers has derived a new, less nonsensical age for the Methuselah star, incorporating information about its distance, brightness, composition and structure.
"Put all of those ingredients together, and you get an age of 14.5 billion years, with a residual uncertainty that makes the star's age compatible with the age of the universe," study lead author Howard Bond, of Pennsylvania State University and the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, said in a statement.
The uncertainty Bond refers to is plus or minus 800 million years, which means the star could actually be 13.7 billion years old younger than the universe as it's currently understood, though just barely.
(Excerpt) Read more at space.com ...
you can always fudge the figures when your side has a problem....
Reminds me of a college paper I saw back in 1970. It effectively proved black is white.
Oh, for the love of G-d! These people drive me nuts.
” ‘Put all of those ingredients together, and you get an age of 14.5 billion years, with a residual uncertainty’ . . . plus or minus 800 million years, which means the star could actually be 13.7 billion years old”
Later in the article:
“The Methuselah star, which is just now bloating into a red giant, was probably born in a dwarf galaxy that the nascent Milky Way gobbled up more than 12 billion years ago, researchers said. The star’s long, looping orbit is likely a residue of that dramatic act of cannibalism.”
— leaving the impression that something 13 to 14 billion years old was created roughly 12 billion years ago. Only on close reading will a layman come to the conclusion that the star somehow survived its galaxy being gobbled up (rather than being creatd as a result of that event), and had its orbit affected as a result.
The article also says “The star moves at about 800,000 mph (1.3 million km/h)” but doesn’t say relative to what.
The Milky Way and Andromeda are going to collide and during that collision, not much is going to touch one and other. Space is vast.
They’re gonna call the star “Helen Thomas”
HT really doesn’t deserve the honor, having the star named after her.
When a galaxy is “eaten up” by another galaxy, that means that the two merge, and more or less assume the identity of the larger galaxy. Few, if any, of the stars fall into the larger galaxy’s central black hole, or anything like that. Sort of like mitosis going backward in time.
The 800,000 mph seems to refer to the “proper motion” (as opposed to parallax) of the star, which would be motion with respect to our little solar system. You are correct, it is not at all clear.
Don't use anything developed by scientists, or anything developed by engineers based on the work of scientists.
Enjoy your solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short life, caveman.
You don't want to live like a caveman?
Then quit bitching about the people who enable you (and the whole society you live in) to live better than cavemen.
What was there before the so-called Big Bang????
From a physical standpoint, nothing. Not even space or time. Asking what was "before" implies time was running "before," but not even time was running. It couldn't.
16 billion plus or minus 800 million is 16.8 or 15.2 billion, still older than the universe
You forgot the BARF Alert on that picture.
Betelgeuse is almost a million times the size of our sun.
But....if it is 'space' then it is not 'nothing'. Space is a something.
Excellent retort! It seems MestaMachine would make a good radical Green Party kook. Let’s all live in caves and eat twigs and berries.
True, but the gravitational effects are huge, especially the cores of each galaxy. Of course the time scale of the event puts even the longest slo-mo to shame, but I've seen modeled predictions of the interaction, and it's pretty cool. The merger of the Milky Way and Andromeda will pretty much double the size of our home galaxy as far as mass is concerned.
Betelgeuse is almost a million times the size of our sun.
If you haven't ever done so, I strobngly recommend you download Celestia (free, with Linux, Mac and Win versions available). It is extraordinarily cool to see what Betelgeuse looks like from various distances. For instance, if you go to Pluto, and look at the Sun and note how many AU Pluto is from the Sun. (this varies significantly during its orbit) Then go to Betelgeuse and see what it looks like in the sky from the same distance. Zooming in to Jupiter's orbit yeilds surprising results, and I think it give a pretty good feel for the size of that monster star.
Celestia is the coolest program on the planet IMO.
The Big Dinner and a couple of drinks.
I have it on my home PC. Haven’t touched it in a while. I’ll have to play with it when I get home next week.
Which is a conundrum wrapped in a riddle within an enigma for those who don’t believe in creation because one of the rules is you can’t create or destory energy and/or mass you may only convert them between.
Or so this physics major was taught...
Isn't it though? When experts think they have a neat theory to explain most things, and out pops some knuckle ball.
Maybe they have found God’s desk light......
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