Monday, December 19, 2011

Young Stars Aren’t So Young

An important group of stars may be lying about its age. A new estimate for the Upper Scorpius region suggests its stars may be twice as old as previously thought, astronomers report in an upcoming Astrophysical Journal. If correct — and not everyone’s a believer just yet — the birth date switcheroo would confirm that one sun’s lauded “planet” is probably a failed star (a brown dwarf). The new age could also have implications for planet-formation timelines.

Upper Sco and Galactic Center
Stars in the Upper Scorpius association (partially shown here in the lower right, with the red supergiant Antares glowing brightly) may be twice as old as previously thought, astronomers suggest.
Akira Fujii



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