Agatha Christie once said that an archeologist is the best husband, because the older a woman gets, the more interesting she is. But Mrs. Christie might have said the same about astronomers from the University of Rochester ( @UofR ), who at the moment are all kinds of excited to discover that a group of stars – considered one of the best-studied of such groupings – is actually much older than previously thought:
While those stars have been thought to be just five million years old, the team concludes that those stars are actually more than twice as old, at 11 million years of age. The findings are surprising given Upper Scorpius’s status as one of the best-studied samples of young stars in the sky.
The findings by graduate student Mark Pecaut and Assistant Professor Eric Mamajek of Rochester, and Assistant Professor Eric Bubar of Marymount University, were accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal.
The key, according to the researchers, happens to be a lot of updated information about stars in general. Science has gotten better at determining the actual distance a star is from Earth, which of course makes a big difference to determining its size. Also, new computer models helped the scientists by factoring in the fuel consumption of stars as well.