Ageless. No Plastic Surgery Required; August 2011; Scientific American Magazine; by John Matson; 1 Page(s)
Stars of the sky play a bit coy with their ages—an ancient star can often pass for a much younger one. That is a problem for astronomers seeking out habitable planets orbiting distant stars because a star’s age correlates with the life-forms it could support.
“We know from studying our own planet that if the star and the planet [are] about one billion years old, only the most primitive microbial life might exist,” said Søren Meibom of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics at the May American Astronomical Society meeting in Boston. “Is it perhaps 4.6 billion years old? Well, all of a sudden we know we could have a planet teeming with complex and intelligent life.”