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Science in Brief

Study of Milky Way Stars Suggests Universe Is Older Than Estimated

August 22, 1996|From Times staff and wire reports

A new study of some of the Milky Way's oldest stars deepens the riddle of the age of the universe. The study suggests that the stars are at least 9.5 billion years old, meaning that our galaxy and indeed the universe cannot be any younger than that. Some estimates of how the cosmos has expanded since the "big bang" suggest that the universe was created as recently as 8 billion years ago. A team at the Florida Institute of Technology analyzed white dwarf stars, the final evolutionary stage for most ordinary stars, to arrive at their age estimate, published Aug. 22 in Nature.

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