Vega is a summer star in the Northern Hemisphere, visible toward the west at sunset. Vega is the brightest star in the constellation Lyra and, at only 25 light years away, quite close, cosmically speaking. 

Due to its brightness, Vega has been used by astronomers as a touchstone to measure other stars’ brightness for thousands of years – new findings say it may be more than 200 million years older than previously thought. The new estimation of Vega’s age was made by more precisely measuring its spin speed with a tool called the Michigan Infrared Combiner, developed by John Monnier, associate professor of astronomy at the University of Michigan. 

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