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News Release 538 of 964

April 24, 2002 01:00 PM (EDT)

News Release Number: STScI-2002-10

Hubble Uncovers Oldest "Clocks" in Space to Read Age of Universe

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Video: Globular Cluster Age: White Dwarf Ages in M4

Artist's Concept Running Time: 40 seconds

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has found the oldest burned-out stars in our Milky Way Galaxy. These extremely dim and old "clockwork stars" provide a completely independent reading of the age of the universe. By measuring the temperature of white dwarf stars in a globular star cluster, astronomers can estimate their ages. Hubble's sensitive detectors came up with an age of 12 to 13 billion years, dovetailing nicely with other independent measurements placing the universe's age at 13 to 14 billion years.

Credit: NASA and G. Bacon (STScI)


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Clockwork Stars and the Age of the Universe Running Time: 52 minutes 10 seconds