The age of the universe refers to the time that has elapsed since the Big Bang explosion. Scientists estimated the age of the universe to be around 10-20 billion years old. The age of the universe can be calculated by finding the age of the oldest star clusters or by measuring the rate of expansion of the universe. Once the rate of the expansion is determined, it is then correlated with the Big Bang to estimate the age of the universe. The age of chemical elements or the oldest white dwarf stars also helps in the calculation of the age of the universe.
The CNO or carbon-nitrogen-oxygen cycle, proposed by Hans Bethe in 1938, is a fusion reaction that helps in the conversion of hydrogen into helium, particularly in larger stars. The cycle is used to determine the age of the universe. Using the CNO cycle it is estimate that the age of universe is around 14.7 billion years old.
CNO CYCLE REACTIONS
Hydrogen is converted into helium in six steps :
1.A carbon nucleus merges with a proton to give nitrogen 13 nucleus.
2.This nitrogen nucleus 13 nucleus is unstable and breaks apart into carbon 13 nucleus.
3.The carbon 13 nucleus merges with a proton to give a nitrogen 14 nucleus.
4.The nitrogen 14 nucleus merges with another proton to give an oxygen 18 nucleus.
5.The oxygen 18 nucleus break apart to give a nitrogen 15 nucleus.
6.Finally , the resulting nitrogen 15 nucleus merge with a proton to give a carbon nucleus and a helium nucleus.
The Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) is a satellite of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The mission of WMAP is to study the study the sky and measure the temperature of the heat radiation from the Big Bang. The WMAP project estimated the age to be around 13.7 billion years. The WMAP Project has found detailed information about the universe, which was red with blue spots. It has also estimated the time of formation of the first stars.
Methods to estimate the age
There are various ways to determine the age of the universe. The three most common ways are :
1.By finding the age of the chemical elements.
2.By determining the age of the older star clusters.
3.By determining the age of the oldest white dwarf star.
it can also be estimated from a cosmological model based on the Hubble constant and the densities of matter and dark energy.
Sky map made by the WMAP team. The red indicate the warmer areas while the blue marks the cool spots. The oval shape signifies the whole sky.