The annual rate of star births throughout our universe has been steadily declining for billions of years. Exactly how long or when the universe was at peak production, churning out stars like they were hot dogs at a baseball game was unknown until recently. A team of international scientists calculated that our universe has been dimming the lights for nearly 11 billion years – about 80 percent of its lifetime.
This has left us with a night-sky that is thirty times less bright than it was at peak brightness. What’s more is that the astronomers predict that the universe will only continue to get dimmer. In fact, if our universe’s brightness continues to decrease at its current rate, then it might reach a point where all stellar production halts.
In their paper, published on arXiv.org, the scientists suggest that our universe has already produced 95 percent of its’ maximum stellar mass population. Once we reach 100 percent, no more star production.
Although, I’ll never live to see the age of no new stars, this is a slightly depressing thought. It reminds me of the film Children of Men where mankind has lost the ability to procreate. Whatever the reason was in the movie, the universe is getting old. Past a certain point as galaxies age, they produce less stars.
Even after stellar production stops, our universe will still shine with starlight for billions of years as the current stars continue to burn fuel. I wonder what will happen when the lights go out.