View Full Version : Discussion: Audio: Oldest Star Discovered

2005-Apr-18, 06:08 AM
SUMMARY: Let's say you're browsing around the comic book store and happened to notice a perfect copy of Action Comics #1 on the rack mixed in with the current stuff. It's in mint condition, untouched since it was first printed almost 70 years ago. Now imagine the same situation... except with stars. Anna Frebel is a PhD student at the Research School of Astronomy & Astrophysics at the Australian National University. She's working with a team of astronomers who have found the oldest star ever seen - possibly untouched since shortly after the Big Bang.

Listen to the interview: Oldest Star Discovered (2.5 mb)

Or subscribe to the Podcast: universetoday.com/audio.xml

View full article (http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/article_2231.html)

What do you think about this story? Post your comments below.

2005-Apr-18, 05:31 PM
Thanks for an interesting story.

The tape suggests that the early age estimate is based on the low abundance of iron seen at the surface of this star.

There may be other ways to reduce the Fe/H ratio at the surface of stars. Thus, I am not personally convinced that this star is unusually old.

With kind regards,


2005-Apr-19, 01:38 AM
is low Iron levels the only clue in this deduction?

2005-Apr-19, 01:35 PM
Originally posted by sam_lelime@Apr 19 2005, 01:38 AM
is low Iron levels the only clue in this deduction?
It is low abundances of all elements heavier than Helium. Iron is simply the standard one that gets measured because it is produced in abundance in supernovae, whereas Carbon and Oxygen (for example) are produced elsewhere as well.

2005-Apr-19, 03:35 PM
Originally posted by sam_lelime@Apr 18 2005, 08:38 PM
is low Iron levels the only clue in this deduction?
She also cited the lack of radioactive materials in the star, making it difficult to determine its age directly.

2005-Apr-24, 03:06 AM
Has anyone been able to open the link to View full article (http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/article_2231.html) ?

I thought I read some interesting detail there earlier, but now the link doesn't work.