Whenever we hear of stars discovered that formed just after the Big Bang, they’re very far away, in the far reaches of the visible Universe. But now astronomers have spotted something new: a star that’s around 13.5 billion years old, right here in our own Milky Way galaxy.
It’s called 2MASS J18082002–5104378 B, and it could be one of the oldest stars in the Universe.
The smoking gun is its metal content. In the very early Universe, there were no metals. They were forged in the hearts of the first generations of stars, which spewed them forth into space upon their violent messy deaths.