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If the Methuselah star proved to be older than the universe could it be from a previous big bang big crunch cycle in which not everything was crunched? What would be the smallest radius the universe could have without the temperature getting so high that Methusala would be completely ionized and destroyed by a crunch?

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    $\begingroup$ Related: astronomy.stackexchange.com/questions/19446/… $\endgroup$
    – ProfRob
    Nov 3, 2023 at 16:51
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    $\begingroup$ I’m voting to close this question because the premise is false, so no reasonable answer is possible. $\endgroup$
    – James K
    Nov 3, 2023 at 19:03
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    $\begingroup$ @James K Christopher James Huff gave a reasonable answer below that shows my premise is wrong. Methuselah would be expected to have higher metallicity if I had been correct. $\endgroup$
    – user52681
    Nov 3, 2023 at 21:43
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    $\begingroup$ @ProfRob The link you have points out that it is surprising a star like Methusala could form so soon after the Big Bang.Perhaps the explanation relates to why galaxies are too large too soon. $\endgroup$
    – user52681
    Nov 3, 2023 at 21:46
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    $\begingroup$ I find this question interesting mainly for the demonstration of a subtract operation exhibiting total loss of precision. $\endgroup$
    – Joshua
    Nov 6, 2023 at 0:43

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First, if the Big Bang did originate with the collapse of a cyclic universe, the collapse reached densities and temperatures sufficient to not only ionize matter from the previous cycle, but to convert it into a quark-gluon plasma and restart the process of baryogenesis and nucleosynthesis, beginning this cycle with essentially nothing but hydrogen and a small amount of helium. A star would not survive this.

Second, HD 140283 is a metal poor subgiant. This is consistent with formation in the very early universe, before significant metals were formed, and is the opposite of what you'd expect from one of the last stars to form in a previous cycle.

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