When you're a kid every birthday is cause for celebration, but as you get older they become a little less exciting. You might not want to admit just how old you are. And you might notice yourself slowing down over the years. You're not alone - the same is true of stars. They slow down as they age, and their ages are well-kept secrets. Astronomers are taking advantage of the first fact to tackle the second and tease out stellar ages.
"Our goal is to construct a clock that can measure accurate and precise ages of stars from their spins. We've taken another significant step forward in building that clock," says Soren Meibom of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA).