Oldest Known Star Identified

A Ken Burns iPad app, touchscreen subway maps, swapping sexism and more in our weekly look at the web

Formed 13.6 billion years ago, a star now
considered to be the oldest known to date was discovered by a team of
Australian astronomers led by Dr. Stefan Keller. Its age was figured out by studying its iron content; Keller says, “The telltale sign that the star is so ancient is the complete absence of any detectable level of iron in the spectrum of light emerging from the star.” Formed from an even older, exploded star, this one is said to be part of the “second generation” in the Milky Way, residing relatively close (6,000 light years away) to Earth.