Commentary: The Reasons the Night Sky Isn’t White

night sky reflecting on a lake

The night sky, in all its astral beauty, has ever been a source of wonder for the human race. But over a century ago, some astronomers looked up and saw a paradox.

Why, they wondered, if the Universe is infinite, with an infinite number of stars, is the night sky not white? Every direction we look, there should be a star whose light has traveled all the way to Earth. So the night sky should be a sea of sunlight!

This conundrum is commonly called Olbers’ paradox, named after the German astronomer Heinrich Wilhelm Olbers, who wrote about it in the early 1800s, though he was not the first, nor the only, thinker to ponder it.

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Einstein Was Right: Astronomers Confirm Key Theory

galaxy

A consortium of astronomers said Thursday they had for the first time confirmed a prediction of Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity by observing the gravitational effects of a supermassive black hole on a star zipping by it. The German-born theoretical physicist had posited that large gravitational forces could stretch…

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