Methuselah, according to the Bible, lived to a ripe old age of 969. Methuselah, the star, formally known as HD 140283, is somewhat older. Scientists say that according to their calculations, it is between 14 and 15 billion years old. That not only makes it the oldest object currently known to astronomers, but also pre-dates the Big bang and the birth of the universe, which came about 13.8 billion years ago.
Even more strange, the star is on our own doorstep – a mere190 light years away, and inside our galaxy. There is, however a margin of error in the calculations of 800 million years- so it could just about get in there for the birth of the Big Bang. The team from Pennsylvania State University and the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore are re-checking their calculations and observations, and therefore a more accurate figure may come later.
The star was first discovered a hundred years ago, and is moving more than 800,000 mph away from our solar system.
These calculations will ignite the debate about whether anything existed prior to the Big Bang.