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View Full Version : The Universe May Be Older...



John L
2004-May-20, 06:10 PM
I just read an article (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3732157.stm) on the BBC website that says that the CNO process in nuclear fusion in stars runs at half the predicted rate, therefore the age of the oldest stars is as much as a billion years older than once thought. They then state that this means the universe is 14.7 billion years old rather than the 13.7 billion they settled on not too long ago...

VanderL
2004-May-20, 10:33 PM
Ah, we finally had a solid number for the edge of the visible Universe, and now they MOved it again!

Let's face it, we don't see as far as we think, and with redshift=distance out the window (Arp, CREIL) the visible part is smaller, while the rest can be infinite.

Cheers.

StarLab
2004-May-20, 11:19 PM
Let's face it, we don't see as far as we think, and with redshift=distance out the window (Arp, CREIL) the visible part is smaller, while the rest can be infinite.
That isn't necessarily inherently true for all things, and I don't think that applies to this scenario. You see, you are talking abou the idea that what we don't sense is infinite. What about the E/M spectrum. We can feel infrared, see visible and UV, but our bodies cannot detect the rest, though it experiences consequences from the x-rays and gammas. The spectrum is not infinite.
Of course, you could argue that E/M spectrum is an invention, not discovery, because we can toy with inventions and make sure they do not accept infinity.

zrice03
2004-May-20, 11:23 PM
Have we actually found stars that are 13.7 billion years old? I thought stars started forming a bit later (like a billion or two years)than the actual big bang?

John L
2004-May-21, 01:41 PM
Originally posted by zrice03@May 20 2004, 11:23 PM
Have we actually found stars that are 13.7 billion years old? I thought stars started forming a bit later (like a billion or two years)than the actual big bang?
They honestly don't know exactly when stars started forming. It depends on the equations and our understanding of how stars work. That obviously just changed, but the numbers I've seen are between 200million and 800million years after the big bang.

And the stars we used to say were about 12billion years old in the oldest globular clusters now may be 13billion years old. We based their age on the rates of nuclear fusion, and since the actual rates are being changed, the age of those stars will have to be changed, too. That is only if these experiments are confirmed.

VanderL
2004-May-21, 02:31 PM
Actually the current recordholder for distant galaxies is a z=10 galaxy, corresponding to appr. 200 million years after the Big Bang.
Therefore the first stars must be at least a couple of years older.....

Cheers.

Deep_Eye
2004-Jun-01, 12:57 PM
A couple of years uh? So more than likely, the first stars formed in clusters that were not necessarily in galaxies...they could just be out in space forming a minefield of stars.