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Faded Stars Get New Role: Hubble takes a long look

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.

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