By setting their sights on the galaxy's faintest stars, scientists have calculated the universe's age in an entirely new way.
Assuming that the age of the dimmest, oldest stars would give a minimum age for the universe, astronomers including Harvey Richer of the University of British Columbia and his colleagues set out to find some of these old-timers (SN: 9/2/95, p. 151; 2/10/01, p. 85).
Richer's team has now pushed the Hubble Space Telescope's vision to the limit by looking at some of the Milky Way's least-luminous white dwarfs�embers of stars that depleted their hydrogen fuel long ago.
The scientists found ancient white dwarfs inside a globular star cluster 7,000 light-years away. G