The star officially recognized as HD 140283, located just 200 light years away from the Earth, has long represented something of a question for astronomers.
Back in 2013, a study using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope’s Fine Guidance Sensors determined that the star is about 14.5 billion years old–a figure that would seem impossible since the universe’s age is assumed to be about 13.799 billion years old.
“It’s a riddle of cosmic proportions: how can the universe contain stars older than itself ?” – physicist Robert Matthews wrote in The National.
“That’s the conundrum now facing astronomers trying to establish the age of the universe – and its resolution could spark a scientific revolution.”
Of course, either one or both of these calculated ages may be incorrect, but it is also possible that something fundamental about the universe is missing from researchers.
“Astronomers now know [that HD 140283] contains very little iron – which means it must have been formed before this element became common in the universe,” wrote Dr Matthews.
“And that implies HD 140283 must be almost as old as the universe itself.”
Could the Big Bang theory to be wrong? The search continues for answers…