Research NewsAstronomy

Probing a Star's Heart of Crystal

Science  10 Oct 1997:
Vol. 278, Issue 5336, pp. 222
DOI: 10.1126/science.278.5336.222

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Researchers have identified a pulsating white dwarf star, called BPM 37093, as an ideal laboratory for studying how material inside white dwarfs crystallizes as they age. Depending on what the researchers find, some stellar ages may have to be revised upward, from 9 billion to 11 billion years or so, which could spell trouble for cosmologists, who believe the universe as a whole is only about 11 billion years old.