A professor at the Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC) participated in the discovery of a rare star that is older than the Sun. Physicist Antonio Kanan states that SPLUS J2104-0049 belongs to a select group of stars and is not yet identified.
The researcher is part of an international astronomy project. The institution confirmed this news on Monday (17).
The discovery was made possible through an 86-cm diameter robotic telescope installed in Chile. The object is part of a photometric survey of the local South Universe (S-Plus), which brings together about 50 researchers with participation from the UFSC and countries such as Argentina, Chile, the United States, and Spain.
Antonio and two alumni of the institution participated in the installation of binoculars and also in the development of A. Software To robotize devices. Project members map the Chilean sky in search of new stars.
“These discoveries take hours to make because you need to observe every part of the sky and then study the stars. But we use this telescope over a very large area, it’s like a wide-angle camera Is like. We take many pictures and manage to get a large piece of the sky. In about an hour and a half, we were able to observe 100 thousand stars “, the professor explains.
According to researchers, the star is older than the Sun – Photo: Favio Pfeiffer / Reproduction
The star has very little light and its age has not yet been defined, but due to its characteristics, such as mass and composition, experts say that the star is older than the Sun.
Chemically poor star
According to the professor, the less chemical elements in the stars, the lighter they are and the longer they last. SPLUS J2104-0049 is a star considered super-super. Based on this, experts believe that it is quite old, because it lacks light and cannot be seen with naked eyes, it can only be seen with binoculars.
Antonio explains that, while the universe would have formed 13.5 billion years ago, the Sun, which is a very heavy star, appeared later, and is about 10 billion years old. Therefore, according to the theory of the formation of the universe, the mass of stars found earlier will be much smaller than the Sun, which will last longer than this.
The discovery of ancient stars, according to the physicist, helps researchers better understand the formation of the universe and even clarifies theories about how and when our planet originated.
The star detection telescope features Santa Katrina’s technology – Photo: Favio Pheffer / Reproduction
The robotization program used in the project’s telescope was developed by Antonio and his students inside the university. He says that studies started more than 20 years ago.
“As soon as I joined UFSC, in 1998, I started developing it Software And many of my students have been a part of this project for years. Then, we established the UFSC Observatory and started the program there ”, he says.
The object is installed in a strategic location at the Cerro Tololo Observatory, about 80 kilometers from the city of La Serena in Chile. Since the location is in a desert area in the Andes, at an altitude of about 2,200 meters above sea level, the sky is clear and therefore it is easy to observe the stars according to the physicist.
Study continues to identify new stars – Photo: Favio Feifer / Reproduction
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