finally took it out after more than 7 years to play with it again.

1)i set it to non cord, shutter speed at 1/60s.
fired a flash, and it reads f8.(an example)
i then use the up/down buttons to change to the aperture i want to use, but realised it couldnt go beyond 1/500s.

any idea why?

2)it has a A* button on the meter.what's that for?i dont have the manual anymore.