In another article we’ve already mentioned how many stars there are in the sky. Here’s a quick resume: a lot! Obviously we don’t know everything about all of the stars, but science has gone quite far in recent times. You might be surprised about what astronomers know about these tiny light dots in our night’s sky. From all the information they have gathered about the stars, we picked a selection of our favorites. It won’t surprise you that due to the fact that there are billions and billions of stars out there, some of them are quite odd.
The star that is older than the universe
We’re talking about HD 140283, also known as the Methuselah star. Methuselah was a biblical figure said to have lived 969 years. This star has been alive for a bit longer. HD 140283 is older than the universe. This seems impossible, and it kind of is.
It all depends on modern day calculations. When calculating the age of a star, we use limits. The age of the universe we know pretty well; 19.79 billion years, with a limit of 0.021. Methuselah is estimated to be 14.46 billion years old, with a limit of 0.8. So if we use the lower limit, this star is 13.66 billion years old, which is younger than the universe.
So we don’t know for sure, but it could well be, that this star was around before the universe was here.
The star that left us too soon
We know stars don’t live forever. Even they go out, or go supernova as we call it. But a star named Swift J1644+57 didn’t die of old age. One could say that this star was murdered. Astronomers witnessed Swift J1644+57 being sucked in a black hole. It happened in a small galaxy. Like most other ones, this galaxy also has a black hole in the center. Astronomers observed Swift J1644+57 being eaten by this black hole. As a result, huge flairs or a beam came out of the black hole lighting up that part of the sky. The black hole won’t have to face charges, as this all happened almost 4 billion years ago. It just took that long for this event to reach Earth.
Lucy, the diamond star
Yes, there is a star out there that is entirely made out of diamonds. It is the star BPM 37093, or Lucy - after the Beatles song Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. Technically, Lucy is no longer a star. It burned out and then crystallized. It didn’t happen too far away; Lucy can be found 50 light years from Earth in the constellation Centaurus.
These are some of the many cool stories about the stars in the sky. If you want to read more about interesting astronomy facts, make sure to check out this post. In the meantime, our astronomers will do some more research and will come back with some more interesting stars shortly.