In cosmology, Olbers’ paradox asks how a universe loaded with stars can be mostly dark. The answer is that we inhabit a universe that is constantly expanding and changing. Research suggests that as many as 95 percent of all stars that will ever exist have already been made. The question is, what limits the number of stars the universe can make? Astronomers believe that supermassive black holes are involved in “quenching” or suppressing the formation of new stars. The details of this effect aren’t known, but it may be that a pulsing feedback system exists that keeps the masses of the black holes and the total number of stars in lock-step with each other.
- Olbers’ paradox relates to the fact that the celestial sphere is mostly dark despite hosting so many galaxies of stars.
- Research suggests that possibly 95 percent of the stars that will ever exist have already been made.
- It may be that supermassive black holes are acting to suppress the formation of new stars.
“The modern resolution to the paradox contains some subtleties, but it does indeed mostly come down to the fact that we do not live in an endless and unchanging universe.”