Skip to main content Accessibility help
Hostname: page-component-559fc8cf4f-8sgpw Total loading time: 2.237 Render date: 2021-03-03T03:18:11.613Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": false, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true }

The ages of (the oldest) stars

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 August 2018

M. Catelan
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Facultad de Física, Instituto de Astrofísica, Av. Vicuña Mackenna 4860, 782-0436 Macul, Santiago, Chile email: Millennium Institute of Astrophysics, Santiago, Chile
E-mail address:
Rights & Permissions[Opens in a new window]


Much progress has been achieved in the age-dating of old stellar systems, and even of individual stars in the field, in the more than sixty years since the evolution of low-mass stars was first correctly described. In this paper, I provide an overview of some of the main methods that have been used in this context, and discuss some of the issues that still affect the determination of accurate ages for the oldest stars.

Contributed Papers
Copyright © International Astronomical Union 2018 


Amelin, Y. & Ireland, T. R., 2013, Elements, 9, 39CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Basu, S., 2016, Living Rev. Solar Phys., 13, 2CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bennett, C. L., Larson, D., Weiland, J. L., et al. 2013, ApJS, 208, 20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bonaca, A., Tanner, J. D., Basu, S., et al. 2012, ApJL, 755, L12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bono, G., Salaris, M., & Gilmozzi, R., 2013, A&A, 549, A102Google Scholar
Brogaard, K., VandenBerg, D. A., Bedin, L. R., Milone, A. P., Thygesen, A., & Grundahl, F., 2017, MNRAS, 468, 645CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Brogaard, K., VandenBerg, D. A., Bruntt, H., et al. 2012, A&A, 543, A106Google Scholar
Brown, A. G. A., Vallenari, A., Prusti, T., et al. 2016, A&A, 595, A2Google Scholar
Buldgen, G., Salmon, S. J. A. J., Noels, A., et al. 2017, preprint (arXiv:1707.05138)Google Scholar
Buonanno, R., Corsi, C. E., Pulone, L., Fusi Pecci, F., & Bellazzini, M., 1998, A&A, 333, 505Google Scholar
Cacciari, C. & Clementini, G., 2003, in Stellar Candles for the Extragalactic Distance Scale (ed. Alloin, D. & Gieren, W.), Lecture Notes in Physics, 635, 105CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Caiazzo, I., Heyl, J. S., Richer, H., & Kalirai, J., 2017, preprint (arXiv:1702.00091)Google Scholar
Campos, F., Bergeron, P., Romero, A. D., et al. 2016, MNRAS, 456, 3729CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Carretta, E., Gratton, R. G., Clementini, G., & Fusi Pecci, F., 2000, ApJ, 533, 215CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cassisi, S., Salaris, M., & Pietrinferni, A., 2016, Mem. S. A. It., 87, 332Google Scholar
Catelan, M., 2009a, Ap&SS, 320, 261Google Scholar
Catelan, M. 2009b, in New Quests in Stellar Astrophysics. II. Ultraviolet Properties of Evolved Stellar Populations (ed. Chávez, M., Bertone, E., González, D. Rosa, & Rodríguez-Merino, L.H.), p. 175Google Scholar
Catelan, M. & de Freitas Pacheco, J. A., 1996, PASP, 108, 166CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Catelan, M., Pritzl, B. J., & Smith, H. A., 2004, ApJS, 154, 633CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Chaboyer, B., Demarque, P., Kernan, P. J., & Krauss, L. M., 1996a, Science, 271, 957CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Chaboyer, B., Demarque, P., Kernan, P. J., Krauss, L. M., & Sarajedini, A., 1996b, MNRAS, 283, 683CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Chaboyer, B., McArthur, B. E., O’Malley, E., et al. 2017, ApJ, 835, 152CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Chaussidon, M. 2007, Lectures in Astrobiology, Vol. II, Adv. Astrobiol. Biogeophys., p. 45Google Scholar
Christlieb, N., 2016, AN, 337, 931Google Scholar
Clementini, G., Eyer, L., Ripepi, V., et al. 2017, A&A, in press (arXiv:1705.00688)Google Scholar
Connelly, J. N., Bollard, J., & Bizzarro, M., 2017, Geoch. Cosmoch. Acta, 201, 345CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Creevey, O. L., Thévenin, F., Berio, P., et al. 2015, A&A, 575, A26Google Scholar
Dauphas, N. & Chaussidon, M., 2011, Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences, 39, 351CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Demarque, P., Deliyannis, C. P., & Sarajedini, A., 1991, in Observational Tests of Cosmological Inflation (ed. Shanks, T., Banday, A. J., and Ellis, R. S.), NATO Advanced Science Institutes Series C, 348, 111Google Scholar
Denissenkov, P., VandenBerg, D. A., Kopacki, G., & Ferguson, J. W. 2017, preprint (arXiv:1706.05454)Google Scholar
Dotter, A., Sarajedini, A., Anderson, J., et al. 2010, ApJ, 708, 698CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dotter, A., Sarajedini, A., & Anderson, J., 2011, ApJ, 738, 74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Eyer, L., Clementini, G., Guy, L. P., et al. 2017, in Wide-Field Variability Surveys: A 21st-Century Perspective (ed. Catelan, M. & Gieren, W.), EPJ Web of Conf., 152, 02002CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Frebel, A. & Kratz, K.-L., 2009, in The Ages of Stars (ed. Mamajek, E.E., Soderblom, D.R., & Wyse, R.F.G.), Proc. IAU Symp., 258, 449Google Scholar
Gratton, R. G., Bragaglia, A., Carretta, E., Clementini, G., Desidera, S., Grundahl, F., & Lucatello, S., 2003, A&A, 408, 529Google Scholar
Gratton, R. G., Carretta, E., & Bragaglia, A., 2012, A&A Rev., 20, 50Google Scholar
Gratton, R. G., Carretta, E., Bragaglia, A., Lucatello, S., & D’Orazi, V., 2010, A&A, 517, A81Google Scholar
Gratton, R. G., Fusi Pecci, F., Carretta, E., Clementini, G., Corsi, C. E., & Lattanzi, M., 1997, ApJ, 491, 749CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Guzik, J. A., 2008, Mem. S. A. It., 79, 481Google Scholar
Hansen, B. M. S., Kalirai, J. S., Anderson, J., et al. 2013, Nature, 500, 51CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Iben, I. Jr., 1965, ApJ, 141, 993; erratum: ApJ, 142, 421CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Iben, I. Jr., 1968, Nature, 220, 143CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Iben, I. Jr., 1974, ARA&A, 12, 215CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Iben, I. Jr., & Renzini, A., 1984, Phys. Rep., 105, 329CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Le Pennec, M., Turck-Chièze, S., Salmon, S., Blancard, C., Cossé, P., Faussurier, G., & Mondet, G., 2015, ApJL, 813, L42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Magic, Z., Weiss, A., & Asplund, M., 2015, A&A, 573, A89Google Scholar
Marín-Franch, A., Aparicio, A., Piotto, G., et al. 2009, ApJ, 694, 1498CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Neeley, J. R., Marengo, M., Bono, G., et al. 2017, ApJ, 841, 84CrossRefGoogle Scholar
O’Malley, E. M., Gilligan, C., & Chaboyer, B., 2017, ApJ, 838, 162CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Paczyński, B. 1997, in The Extragalactic Distance Scale (ed. Livio, M.), p. 273Google Scholar
Pancino, E., Bellazzini, M., Giuffrida, G., & Marinoni, S., 2017, MNRAS, 467, 412Google Scholar
Planck CollaborationAdam, R. Adam, R., Aghanim, N., et al. 2016a, A&A, 596, A108Google Scholar
Planck CollaborationAde, P. A. R. Ade, P. A. R., Aghanim, N., et al. 2016b, A&A, 594, A13Google Scholar
Reipurth, B., 2005, in Chondrites and the Protoplanetary Disk (ed. Krot, A.N., Scott, E.R.D., & Reipurth, B.), ASP Conf. Ser., 341, 54Google Scholar
Renzini, A., Bragaglia, A., Ferraro, F. R., et al. 1996, ApJL, 465, L23CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sackmann, I.-J., Boothroyd, A. I., & Kraemer, K. E., 1993, ApJ, 418, 457CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Salaris, M., 2013, in Advancing the Physics of Cosmic Distances (ed. de Grijs, R.), Proc. IAU Symp., 289, 145Google Scholar
Salaris, M., Riello, M., Cassisi, S., & Piotto, G., 2004, A&A, 420, 911Google Scholar
Sandage, A., 1970, ApJ, 162, 841CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sandage, A., Katem, B., & Sandage, M., 1981, ApJS, 46, 41CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sandquist, E. L., 2000, MNRAS, 313, 571CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sarajedini, A., Bedin, L. R., Chaboyer, B., et al. 2007, AJ, 133, 1658CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sarajedini, A., Chaboyer, B., & Demarque, P., 1997, PASP, 109, 1321CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sarajedini, A. & Demarque, P., 1990, ApJ, 365, 219CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Serenelli, A., 2016, European Phys. Journal A, 52, 78CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sneden, C., Cowan, J. J., Lawler, J. E., et al. 2003, ApJ, 591, 936CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Soderblom, D. R., 2010, ARA&A, 48, 581CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tayar, J., Somers, G., Pinsonneault, M. H., et al. 2017, ApJ, 840, 17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Thompson, I. B., Kaluzny, J., Pych, W., Burley, G., Krzeminski, W., Paczyński, B., Persson, S. E., & Preston, G. W., 2001, AJ, 121, 3089CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Thompson, I. B., Kaluzny, J., Rucinski, S. M., Krzeminski, W., Pych, W., Dotter, A., & Burley, G. S., 2010, AJ, 139, 329CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tolstoy, E., Hill, V., & Tosi, M., 2009, ARA&A, 47, 371CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Trampedach, R., Stein, R. F., Christensen-Dalsgaard, J., & Nordlund, Å., Asplund, M., 2014, MNRAS, 445, 4366CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Valle, G., Dell’Omodarme, M., Prada Moroni, P. G., & Degl’Innocenti, S., 2013, A&A, 549, A50Google Scholar
Valle, G., Dell’Omodarme, M., Prada Moroni, P. G., & Degl’Innocenti, S., 2015, A&A, 575, A12Google Scholar
Valls-Gabaud, D., 2014, in The Ages of Stars (ed. Lebreton, Y., Valls-Gabaud, D., & Charbonnel, C.), EAS Pub. Ser., 65, 5CrossRefGoogle Scholar
VandenBerg, D. A., Bolte, M., & Stetson, P. B., 1990, AJ, 100, 445CrossRefGoogle Scholar
VandenBerg, D. A., Bolte, M., & Stetson, P. B., 1996, ARA&A, 34, 461CrossRefGoogle Scholar
VandenBerg, D. A., Bond, H. E., Nelan, E. P., Nissen, P. E., Schaefer, G. H., & Harmer, D., 2014, ApJ, 792, 110CrossRefGoogle Scholar
VandenBerg, D. A., Brogaard, K., Leaman, R., & Casagrande, L., 2013, ApJ, 775, 134CrossRefGoogle Scholar
VandenBerg, D. A., Casagrande, L., & Stetson, P. B., 2010, AJ, 140, 1020CrossRefGoogle Scholar
VandenBerg, D. A., Denissenkov, P. A., & Catelan, M., 2016, ApJ, 827, 2CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Venn, K. A., Irwin, M., Shetrone, M. D., Tout, C. A., Hill, V., & Tolstoy, E. 2004, AJ, 128, 1177; erratum: 2006, AJ, 1726CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wagner-Kaiser, R., Sarajedini, A., von Hippel, T., et al. 2017, MNRAS, 468, 1038CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wuchterl, G. & Klessen, R. S., 2001, ApJL, 560, L185CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Zoccali, M., Renzini, A., Ortolani, S., et al. 2001, ApJ, 553, 733CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Full text views reflects PDF downloads, PDFs sent to Google Drive, Dropbox and Kindle and HTML full text views.

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 69 *
View data table for this chart

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 02nd August 2018 - 3rd March 2021. This data will be updated every 24 hours.


Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

The ages of (the oldest) stars
Available formats

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

The ages of (the oldest) stars
Available formats

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

The ages of (the oldest) stars
Available formats

Reply to: Submit a response

Your details

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *