I found this article to be very interesting it ties very well into what we have been learning about with the universe. The article talks about how astronomers have used old stars to determine the age of the universe. The article tells how Timothy Beers and his associates have discovered a radioactive isotope, uranium-238, in a metal-poor star located on the outskirts of the milky way. I suppose I should give a little back that the article talked about first.
Astronomers have found the age of many stars by using radioactive dating. See astronomers are able to calculate the age of a star by using this radioactive dating. This method does work for older stars that were formed from just hydrogen, helium and lithium these are nonradioactive elements that are called metal poor-stars. Well it is believe that some of these stars were massive and exploded and set off nuclear reactions that made a second generation of metal-poor stars and some of these stars contained radioactive isotopes. So now that leads us to were I started until the discovery of -238 astronomers were only able to detect isotope — 232. Well with the discovery of this star that contained -238 researchers were able to calculate the age of the star and make an estimated minimum age of the universe.
Astronomers hope that with the discovery of more of these stars they will be able to find the minimum age of the universe. I know that was a long explanation I just don’t think I could have made it shorter. Any ways I picked this article because I found it so interesting. I mean to think that for thousands of years astronomers have been studying the stars and here in the year 2001 they are still making discoveries. On the other hand is knowing the age of the universe going to make some big impact on our lives. I guess what I am wondering is I am sure that they are spending millions of dollars for this research.
When would it not be better to spend the money on research for new medications I understand the though space science they have been able to find new medications. I mean I really don’t think discovering the age of the universe is going to make us take any better care of our earth. I just feel money could be spent in so many other ways. Source Wang, L. “Old Stars Reveal Universe’s Minimum Age” Science News 10 February 2001. Vol.
159 Issue 6.