News Release Archive:

News Release 176 of 1051

March 7, 2013 02:00 PM (EST)

News Release Number: STScI-2013-08

Hubble Finds Birth Certificate of Oldest Known Star


Image: Artist's View of Ancient Star

Artist's View of Ancient Star Artist's Concept

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This is an illustration of the oldest star ever found in our solar neighborhood. The aging star, cataloged as HD 140283, lies 190.1 light-years from Earth. Hubble Space Telescope observations narrowed the measurement uncertainty on the star's distance, and this helped refine the calculation of a more precise age of 14.5 billion years (plus or minus 800 million years).

Because the aging star is relatively nearby, familiar stars and constellations as seen from Earth are in the sky, but in different locations. At upper left is the constellation Orion, which looks distorted from our new perspective in space. Just to the upper left of the foreground star is the Pleiades cluster. To the lower left of the cluster, our Sun has dimmed to an apparent magnitude of +7, placing it below naked-eye visibility.

Image Type: Artwork

Credit: NASA, ESA, and A. Feild and F. Summers (STScI)


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