hello, darkness, my old friend

Researchers presented yet more evidence in last week’s Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society that the universe is eventually going to end up a dark, cold place, the stars winking out one by one. Research student Ben Panter and professor Alan Heavens of Edinburgh University’s Institute of Astronomy, along with the University of Pennsylvania’s Raul Jimenez have calculated that the rate of star formation has been in decline for about 6 billion years, from about the time our own sun was born. The team analyzed starlight from almost 40,000 galaxies to find out how many recently formed stars there were during different periods of the universe’s 14-billion-year-old existence. More stars are dying than being born, a definite population bust. Heavens stated in a press release: “Our analysis confirms that the age of star formation is drawing to a close.”

This news brief appeared in the Random Data column of the Boston Globe’s Health/Science section on 8/26/2003.
This entry was posted in boston globe, news briefs. Bookmark the permalink.