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Astronomers discover ancient star
Posted: Tue, Feb 11, 2014, 7:05 AM ET (1205 GMT)
Astronomers announced this week the discovery of a relatively nearby star that dates back the earliest eras of the universe. Astronomers discovered the star, designated SMSS J031300.36-670839.3, using an automated sky survey telescope in Australia called SkyMapper. Spectra of the star showed it had a very low abundance of iron, indicating it dated back to the early history of the universe, before supernova explosions seeded the universe with iron forged in the cores of giant stars. The star does have a large amount of carbon, suggesting to astronomers it is a second-generation star created from remnants of a first-generation star that expelled its outer layers, but not its iron-rich core. Astronomers estimate the star, 6,000 light-years from Earth, may have formed as much as 13 billion years ago.
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