Oldest star found


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Photo by David Paterson, ANU

Australian astronomers said they found a star 13.6 billion years old, making it the most ancient star ever seen. Scientists believe the star was formed just a couple of hundred million years after the Big Bang. Stefan Keller of the Australian National University said the Methuselah star is relatively close to Earth, lying in the Milky Way, around 6,000 light years from the planet. One way of determining the age of a star is iron content: the lower its iron content, the older it is. Keller says the star, which was discovered using the SkyMapper telescope, is so ancient that the amount of iron present is less than one millionth that of the Sun.

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