Special Reviews

Age Estimates of Globular Clusters in the Milky Way: Constraints on Cosmology

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Science  03 Jan 2003:
Vol. 299, Issue 5603, pp. 65-69
DOI: 10.1126/science.1075631

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Recent observations of stellar globular clusters in the Milky Way Galaxy, combined with revised ranges of parameters in stellar evolution codes and new estimates of the earliest epoch of globular cluster formation, result in a 95% confidence level lower limit on the age of the Universe of 11.2 billion years. This age is inconsistent with the expansion age for a flat Universe for the currently allowed range of the Hubble constant, unless the cosmic equation of state is dominated by a component that violates the strong energy condition. This means that the three fundamental observables in cosmology—the age of the Universe, the distance-redshift relation, and the geometry of the Universe—now independently support the case for a dark energy–dominated Universe.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: lmk9{at}po.cwru.edu, chaboyer{at}heather.dartmouth.edu

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