"HIP 102152 is an ideal star to anchor the end of the timeline," Monroe said.
Stars like the sun last about 10 billion years before running out of hydrogen fuel for their thermonuclear reactions. They then cool and expand into what is known as a "red giant" phase.
HIP 102152 may be like the sun in another way as well. Unlike other solar twins, chemical analysis of HIP 102152's light shows a good match to the sun's, including a telltale sign of possible rocky planets.
Scientists found elements common in dust and meteorites missing from HIP 102152's light -- "a strong hint ... that the elements may have gone into making rocky bodies and/or planets" around the star," Monroe wrote.
So far, attempts to search for any orbiting planets have not been successful.
The group also was able to make a direct tie between the amount of lithium in a star and the star's age.
Some previous studies suggested a low lithium content may indicate the presence of giant planets, said astronomer Jorge Melendez, also with the University of San Paulo.