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Oldest Known Star In the Universe Discovered 141

Zothecula writes "A team of astronomers at The Australian National University working on a five-year project to produce the first comprehensive digital survey of the southern sky has discovered the oldest known star in the Universe. The star dates back 13.7 billion years, only shortly after the Big Bang itself. It's also nearby (at least, from a cosmological perspective) — about 6,000 light-years away. The star is notable for the very small amount of iron it contains (abstract). The lead researcher, Stefan Keller, said, 'To make a star like our Sun, you take the basic ingredients of hydrogen and helium from the Big Bang and add an enormous amount of iron – the equivalent of about 1,000 times the Earth's mass. To make this ancient star, you need no more than an Australia-sized asteroid of iron and lots of carbon. It's a very different recipe that tells us a lot about the nature of the first stars and how they died.'"
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Oldest Known Star In the Universe Discovered

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  • Re:Which star? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ChunderDownunder ( 709234 ) on Tuesday February 11, 2014 @08:49PM (#46224477)

    Not even close. The Shat isn't even 90 yet.

    Betty White and Christopher Lee are still going strong...

  • Re:Knowledge (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ceoyoyo ( 59147 ) on Tuesday February 11, 2014 @09:29PM (#46224769)

    The King James bible was translated at a king's (god's appointed representative) order, by translators who were divinely inspired. Or so they said. Believing in it is no more irrational than believing in the actual original accounts, verbal or written, or the Hebrew copies, or the Greek copies, or the Book of Mormon, or Hubbard's science fiction. Okay, maybe slightly less irrational than believing in that last one, because Hubbard declared in advance he was full of shit rather than claiming to have a direct pipeline to a supreme being. Or maybe not.

  • by JoshuaZ ( 1134087 ) on Tuesday February 11, 2014 @11:06PM (#46225355) Homepage

    After all, when you look at the Earth from space, you see mostly nitrogen, oxygen, and water vapor. It's always a problem to infer the interior of something from what you see on the outside (as in, you can't judge a book by its cover). The proposed LENR (Cold Fusion) physics, perhaps along with some notion of quantum decay of nuclei leading to outgassed hydrogen (my suggestion), could provide a way that a sun (or planet, including the Earth) made of mostly nickel and iron could produce a lot of internal heat from LENR.

    No. The solar neutrino flux is almost precisely that which is proposed by models and this does let us check our models. We can also estimate the sun's density if it had an iron core. It would be much denser and it wouldn't have an easy way to prevent collapse. There's also no plausible model for anything remotely like this to form naturally. Those are just a few of the many problems with this suggestion. Thinking about ideas is good but please be aware that it is extremely unlikely that a single individual thinking on their own is going to come up with a serious problem in theories that withstood many empirical tests over the last 50 years, and even less likely to then come up with the correct hypothesis. Claiming that the sun is mostly iron isn't the same level as claiming that evolution hasn't happened, but it isn't that far off. At minimum, a glance at your website shows no predictions that would differ from standard. At minimum to be taking seriously you need to propose some test that can be done that will strongly differentiate your model from the standard explanation. Without that, there's little reason to pay attention.

  • Re:Knowledge (Score:5, Insightful)

    by techno-vampire ( 666512 ) on Tuesday February 11, 2014 @11:44PM (#46225553) Homepage
    The important thing is that the English language has changed since the KJV was finished, so that there are things that don't mean the same thing now as they did back then. As an example, back then, "kill" meant "murder." (Note that David slew Goliath, not killed him.) If you don't take this into account, and many Bible literalists don't, not only won't you know what it's saying, you won't even realize that there's an issue.

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"