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Study: the Universe Has Almost Stopped Making New Stars

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the getting-lazy dept.

Science 228

SternisheFan sends this quote from Wired: "An international team of astronomers used three telescopes — the UK Infrared Telescope and the Subaru Telescope, both in Hawaii, and Chile's Very Large Telescope — to study trends in star formation, from the earliest days of the universe. Extrapolating their findings has revealed that half of all the stars that have ever existed were created between 9 and 11 billion years ago, with the other half created in the years since. That means the rate at which new stars are born has dropped off massively, to the extent that (if this trend continues) 95 percent of all the stars that this universe will ever see have already been born. Several studies have looked at specific time 'epochs', but the different methods used by each study has restricted the ability to compare their findings and discern a fuller model of how stars have evolved over the course of the entire universe's lifespan."

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No more stars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41912509)

Well can't we just set up a star-making machine to replenish fallen stars and create a steady stream of new ones?

Re:No more stars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41912563)

Well can't we just set up a star-making machine ... ?

What, like X-Factor you mean? Be careful what you wish for...

Re:No more stars? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41913949)

What, like X-Factor you mean

No, he said a star making machine.

Re:No more stars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41912575)

Well can't we just set up a star-making machine to replenish fallen stars and create a steady stream of new ones?

I guess that if you figure out how the universe was created in the first place you are allowed to break the thermodynamic observations.

America has no more stars... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41912641)

...now we call then idols

--Toby Mac

Re:America has no more stars... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41912741)

Damned Idolaters.

Re:No more stars? (-1, Troll)

reboot246 (623534) | about 2 years ago | (#41912937)

Don't worry. Obama can fix it. Just hope it with all your heart and he will change it for you.

Re:No more stars? (1, Offtopic)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about 2 years ago | (#41913811)

Don't worry. Obama can fix it. Just hope it with all your heart and he will change it for you.

Sour grapes anyone?

Re:No more stars? (1)

macraig (621737) | about 2 years ago | (#41912945)

Maybe you already have a star making machine in your house? Perhaps if we all pool the lint from our dryers we can make a baby star? We can name Sol as the godmother and Jupiter the midwife.

Re:No more stars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41913795)

Because now we enter the phase where they start to disappear and when the last massive black hole has been sucked up into it's own asshole, BANG, we start all over again. Next time around, I suggest an extended Renaissance period and an Industrial Revolution During the Age of Enlightenment.

I BLAME GLOBAL WARMING (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41912525)

Nah, just kidding.

Re:I BLAME GLOBAL WARMING (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 2 years ago | (#41912603)

Don't be silly. Manufacturing was out-sourced.

We're running out.... (4, Funny)

countach (534280) | about 2 years ago | (#41914139)

We're running out of stars.... Get 'em while they're hot!

Re:I BLAME GLOBAL WARMING (5, Insightful)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 2 years ago | (#41912675)

I blame Universal cooling.

Re:I BLAME GLOBAL WARMING (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41912993)

"I blame Universal cooling."

OMG, we're all going to die!

Re:I BLAME GLOBAL WARMING (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 2 years ago | (#41913033)

It's not really cooling, it's just spreading the same amount of energy over an increasingly large area. The sum total is still the same.

Or are we actually losing energy somewhere? That's a scary thought.

Re:I BLAME GLOBAL WARMING (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41913155)

We're not losing energy, but we are losing hydrogen.

Re:I BLAME GLOBAL WARMING (5, Funny)

meta-monkey (321000) | about 2 years ago | (#41913445)

I prefer to think of it as "gaining helium (and heavier things)," but I guess you're one of those "star is half empty" kind of people?

Re:I BLAME GLOBAL WARMING (4, Insightful)

lgw (121541) | about 2 years ago | (#41913693)

It's not really cooling, it's just spreading the same amount of energy over an increasingly large area. The sum total is still the same.

There's a word for "spreading the same amount of energy over an increasingly large area": cooling. That's the normal way that cooling happens after all.

And... (5, Insightful)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 2 years ago | (#41912535)

They stopped making new movies, about 2002.

Now it's only remakes, re-boots, TV re-imaginings, and films based on children's toys.

Re:And... (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 2 years ago | (#41912579)

I left out video-game franchise-derived movies...

That's OK. It doesn't contradict the thesis that at every cosmic level, these are the thermodynamic end-times.

Let's toast the 2nd law, everyone! I'm lighting a Cuban with a thousand-dollar-bill...

Re:And... (1)

Sepodati (746220) | about 2 years ago | (#41912633)

Cubans are overrated. Nicaragua is where it's at.

Re:And... (5, Informative)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 2 years ago | (#41912835)

Tobacco is overrated, Colorado and Washington are where its at.

Re:And... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41913619)

Clearly you don't live in Washington.

Re:And... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41913249)

I can't argue cause I've never tried but every time I've tried any of the so-called better-than-cuban cigars, they have sucked. Even most Cubans said to be better than the big C and M have been just not very good.

Re:And... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41912631)

Cinema is far superior now then in any other decade with tons of variety and creativity.

Re:And... (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 2 years ago | (#41912701)

Making remakes and sequels is considered being creative in 2012?

You must live in Hollywood.

Re:And... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41912803)

Show me a better decade and I will show you a decade of shit.

You probably think "music used to be better" too.

Re:And... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41913309)

You probably think "music used to be better" too.

It was, well the pop genre anyway, all the good tunes are now in the other genres.

Re:And... (1)

RazorSharp (1418697) | about 2 years ago | (#41912873)

Making remakes and sequels is considered being creative in 2012?

These may make up many of the box office movies but they're a small minority of actual films produced. The theater's for teenagers and dates. If you're looking for great films there are plenty out there. Some of the great ones even make their way to theaters.

I'd love to know what golden age of cinema you think trumps today's current renaissance.

Re:And... (1)

lgw (121541) | about 2 years ago | (#41913721)

Where does one find these "great films that never make it to theaters"?

Re:And... (2)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 years ago | (#41913333)

Depends on the Sequel, some are quite creative. Of course I judge things based on evidence, and not because it has the word 'sequel' associated with it. I'm not that small minded.

Skyfall is very creative.

Plus, there are many, many original movies put out. Nothing has changed, some movies are good, most aren't. just like it's always been. By the way, I have heard your complaint my entire adult life, but just substitute the year for 1980, 1984, 1990, 2000, 2005,

Re:And... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41912909)

That's 100% subjective.

Real estate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41912577)

I guess that now 'they stopped making it' then the price will only go up!

Maybe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41912617)

Maybe it just doesn't find it creativly fulfilling anymore.

A hundred billion! (2)

Stolzy (2656399) | about 2 years ago | (#41912625)

Maybe we should just wait for another 9 to 11 billion years to see if they're right?

Fermis paradox (4, Interesting)

fivethreeo (1421165) | about 2 years ago | (#41912657)

Why we dont find any life out theere, the golden age of the universe might just be long passed. Might have been teeming at some point. Sorry no Star-Trek possible anymore.

Re:Fermis paradox (1, Insightful)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about 2 years ago | (#41912953)

This doesn't address the question of where the stars came from in the first place. We don't have even a tiny tiny slice of the big picture yet, so any announcements about the impending doom of the universe are premature to put it mildly, even on astronomical scales.

Re:Fermis paradox (2, Informative)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 2 years ago | (#41913119)

Um, we know pretty well how stars are formed. Hydrogen gas is slowly drawn together from gravity, accelerates as it gets closer, and eventually sets itself on fire. with less and less hydrogen gas freely floating around, it makes sense fewer stars would be forming.

Re:Fermis paradox (1)

witherstaff (713820) | about 2 years ago | (#41912959)

Life is out there, they just ran off and hid in black holes [wikipedia.org] waiting for us to dig them out.

Re:Fermis paradox (1)

sconeu (64226) | about 2 years ago | (#41913679)

Ah, another Pohl fan. Just wait till we find the Kubelblitz!

Re:Fermis paradox (1)

mangu (126918) | about 2 years ago | (#41912981)

Sad for the universe, but not for us. There's at least several billion years left when the universe is pretty much as it is today.

In a hundred years or so we will start sending probes to other star systems. In a couple thousand years we will be actively exploring the galaxy.

In a million years, who knows? A billion years? Wow!

Re:Fermis paradox (2)

X0563511 (793323) | about 2 years ago | (#41913041)

Assuming we don't kill ourselves off, first, or get off this rock before chance does it for us.

Getting off this rock is Hard Ecology (3, Insightful)

billstewart (78916) | about 2 years ago | (#41913177)

The only ways to get off this rock are to understand ecologies well enough to be able to build a sustainable large-scale ecology with enough complexity to maintain human life, or to understand human minds well enough to upload ourselves into robots. To do the former, humans need to be Not Dead Yet, which means we have to be able to understand ecologies well enough not to poison ourselves before we've got a bunch of starships. So far, we haven't been able to build little model terrariums like Biosphere 2 without cheating, and we won't be able to build a colony on Mars (where you've got some resources to cheat with), much less outer space, until we can do one on Earth.

So if you want to get off the planet, you've got to fix the planet first. Or, like, do the robot upload dance, and you're not getting me inside one of those things any time soon.

Re:Getting off this rock is Hard Ecology (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41913359)

The smallest scale it will likely be possible to do something like that in would probably be about the size of the Moon.

Fermi's Fallacy (4, Insightful)

oGMo (379) | about 2 years ago | (#41913129)

The Fermi Paradox [wikipedia.org] assumes quite a few things which may not be true, such as interstellar travel being practical or desirable, life and intelligence being similar to our own, the fact we could actually spot it with our current techology (or that it would desire to be seen), and that artifacts of past civilizations would actually last for the millions of years between said civilization and our own.

We are barely able to start seeing extrasolar planets. The idea that "if it's out there, we would have seen it" seems a bit silly for any number of reasons. For instance, noticing, here on earth, the tiny blip in time a civilization that might use radio waves seems unlikely. People who subscribe to the technological singularity [wikipedia.org] might assume that any civilization with high enough technology would be incomprehensible to us; think of us trying to tune into a radio show (or look for smoke signals) when they're using the internet. I think the article above lists a few more.

Star Trek may well not be possible as you say; that doesn't mean something better isn't.

Re:Fermis paradox (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41913363)

Uhm, according to studies were more like at the start of when intelligent life can be expected. There's the little thing with need for second and third generation stardust for the heavier elements, plus some few billion years of evolution.

Re:Fermis paradox (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about 2 years ago | (#41913423)

Silly. Assuming that intelligent life will inevitably use tools, build spaceships and give a rat's ass about talking to us at all is just parochial dumbness. For all we know, most smart creatures slap their awareness into genetically engineered fungi or moss whose spores drift around the universe and whose conscious lives are pain free, effortless and blissful. Minimal energy use. No machinery necessary. A near guarantee of racial survival. Human assumptions are unlikely to be what drives intelligence around the universe.

Re:Fermis paradox (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41914127)

Most intelligent beings in the universe probably spend there time in virtual realities.

Worrying about the material universe is primitive and barbaric.

Re:Fermis paradox (1)

babtras (629678) | about 2 years ago | (#41913463)

Civilizations likely have a greater chance of appearing now than in the past. The earlier universe had many more doomsday events such as GRBs and supernova and a metalicity too small to form many rocky planets (though there were some undoubtedly). The current universe is much more suitable to life as we know it and we are probably arriving just in time for the golden age of civilization birth.

Re:Fermis paradox (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41913467)

We don't find life "out there" because we are not capable of going "out there" or even looking "out there" for signs of life.

And before someone talks about SETI, please, stop and think first. Even today, our radio technology like DTV would be impossible to decipher mere 100 YEARS ago. If we continue to increase our understanding for another 1000 years, why would we still use AM or FM transmissions at all?? There already are broad spectrum transmission protocols that would not even look anything but background noise 50 years ago.

Finally, a civilization that is a few 1,000x times longer civilized than ours is probably not limiting themselves to speed of light communication anyway. Quantum entanglement and quantum computing is something we haven't even scratched the surface on, never mind fully utilized. And that is a 5,000,000 year old civilization. How about those that are 100m years old? 200m? 500m? 5000m?

So no, Star Trek is certainly not possible. But Star Trek civilizations, where everyone is at about the same level, are crazily improbable. It is far more likely that we are already observed and categorized by far far more advanced civilizations. Most likely we are more like bacteria in a puddle under a rock saying that no other life exists beyond our few drops of water as everything outside the rock is dry and baren. Just because we don't perceive it does not mean it ain't there or it does not perceive us.

All the heavy elements were created by supernovas. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41914067)

In the early universe, there wouldn't have been enough heavy elements to make cool stuff like life.
It took a couple of generations of massive stars blowing themselves up before things got interesting.

I found that interesting (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41912659)

I've often casually thought about star formation when viewing images of planetary nebula like the Orion nebula. The captions/descriptions almost always mention that the nebula was the remnants of a star, and then point out areas of new star formation. But the math never really added up, since one nebula would have a bunch of stars and no explanation is usually given.

I guess that's just a round about way of saying that I subconsciously expected the findings here to be true. It's nice that someone went to the effort to schedule the telescope time and document this.

Re:I found that interesting (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 2 years ago | (#41913061)

Star explodes. Gas spreads out. Fast forward, gas is coalescing into smaller stars. Fast forward, larger stars are consuming their neighbors. Fast forward again, you have a small set of huge stars (or some large blackhole or something) that continues on, then explodes again, starting the sequence over again presuming no outside interference.

Re:I found that interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41913197)

Less and less hydrogen over more and more volume. Fewer places where hydrogen reaches a critical mass.

Re:I found that interesting (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 2 years ago | (#41913325)

Won't that (eventually) get pulled back, gravitationally? Given enough time everything should end up coagulating into large masses that in turn pull towards each other. End result: another Big Bang.

Of course that's kind of... far off on the timeline.

Re:I found that interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41913623)

Our current theories say that there isn't enough gravity to stop the expansion of the universe. Instead, it will slowly cool off til the energy is so sparse and spread out. A wimper.

Re:I found that interesting (1)

Zephyn (415698) | about 2 years ago | (#41913157)

It's not necessarily a "lose a star, gain a star" scenario.

A nebula is the remnant of the supernova of a star at least 10x the mass of the sun, and we've found a few stars out there in the 100x or more category. Even with the core fusing elements all the way up to iron, there's still a lot of hydrogen outside the core that gets dispersed into the nebula when the supernova finally happens, so the formation of multiple smaller stars isn't out of the question.

Re:I found that interesting (1)

Teun (17872) | about 2 years ago | (#41913251)

Star formation is generally by the concentration of dust and the subsequent increased densities by compression causing heat..
Galaxies hold vast areas with dust where such star formation is taking place and yes at some stage this process will dry up.
Other processes make old stars explode and cause new dust clouds, like our sun is not a first generation star but the condensation of such previous stars that ended in supernovae, that's why we have heavy elements in our solar system, they are typically formed in supernovae.

On a grander scale whole galaxies merge and again this causes concentration of dust and thus star formation.
Eventually there will be an end to such mergers and the resulting new stars.

Maybe the resulting black hole will be so super massive it'll implode in a Big Bang?

mo3 3own (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41912677)

the hard Drive to And its long term not so bad. To the Distro is done Here the next round of Risk looking even balance is struck,

Re:mo3 3own (1)

macraig (621737) | about 2 years ago | (#41912871)

Is this the result of English as a third language or mental disease? I'm thinking the latter....

Re:mo3 3own (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 2 years ago | (#41913073)

I still like to think of it as the equivalent of a numbers station [wikipedia.org] .

Re:mo3 3own (1)

need4mospd (1146215) | about 2 years ago | (#41913159)

This looks like someone tried to generate an automatic "5 Insightful" comment generator and failed miserably.

Obligatory something-or-other? (2)

macraig (621737) | about 2 years ago | (#41912691)

I for one welcome our new entropic overlords. No (stellar) news is good news, right?

Keep calm and love astronomy. (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 2 years ago | (#41912707)

Half 9-11 billion years in age, half since, i.e. 12-14, hmmmm...something isn't right. Looks like little or no decrease.

It should be decreasing, logically, but not by that argument.

Re:Keep calm and love astronomy. (2)

Antipater (2053064) | about 2 years ago | (#41912769)

I don't think you understand the word "since".

The starcreators are pissed.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41912717)

...that Romney didn't get elected.

Re:The starcreators are pissed.... (0)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#41912979)

Then we would have discovered 100% of all stars were created in exactly 4004 BC I assume on the first day according to the neocons.

Re:The starcreators are pissed.... (2)

meta-monkey (321000) | about 2 years ago | (#41913505)

Astronomy is just lies from the Devil to fool us. And you fell for it...hook, line, and [jeremy irons]tzinker[/jeremy irons].

Re:The starcreators are pissed.... (5, Funny)

lgw (121541) | about 2 years ago | (#41913773)

You need to update your memes. The people lefties hate are called "Tea Partiers" now, not "neocons". Hasn't been "neocons" since 2010. Remember, it doens't matter what either group actually stood for, the point is to corrupt the language.

Re:The starcreators are pissed.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41913923)

But the left calls them teabaggers, not partiers.

Red Dwarfs (1)

babtras (629678) | about 2 years ago | (#41912721)

I would expect this to be the case because of the tendencies of large stars to die quickly and a steadily increasing population of small stars that can live extremely long lives. I think the universe has a bright future with small dim stars.

Re:Red Dwarfs (1)

mark_osmd (812581) | about 2 years ago | (#41914119)

Another interesting point about red dwarfs, along with the extremely long life time they have (ten trillions years), is that the universe locks away some material as brown dwarf pairs. In the extreme future after star formation is all done, a few of these pairs will spiral together from gravitational radiation forming new red dwarf stars if the total mass of the two objects is more than the minimum red dwarf mass.

Stellar Viagra! (1)

macraig (621737) | about 2 years ago | (#41912839)

I guess it's time for the Universe to pay a visit to the fertility clinic? All that stellar sperm has gotten flung out all over the place instead of being deposited where it can do some baby-making. Somebody needs to teach the Universe how to stop pulling out and ejaculating all over the place.

First law violation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41912923)

Alpha particles from hydrogen atoms? Perhaps what the author neglected to say "Alpha particles from the proton-proton chain fusion involving hydrogen atoms."

Once hydrogen and helium are fused into heavier elements, would that not end star formation?

FTFY

Re:First law violation (1)

Teun (17872) | about 2 years ago | (#41913311)

This would not directly end star formation, our own solar system including the sun is at least partially made up from heaver elements formed in exploded previous generation stars.

Re:First law violation (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41913481)

I fail to see how this causes any robot to harm a human, or through inaction allow a human to come to harm.

OMG! The star creators have Gone Galt! (2)

StefanJ (88986) | about 2 years ago | (#41913037)

They're all hiding out in a black hole waiting for all those slacker main sequence dwarfs to die off. Damn pirates never contribute anything to the interstellar medium. Eliminate capital gains taxes now!

Maybe just maybe... (0)

3seas (184403) | about 2 years ago | (#41913045)

...we haven't been around long enough to really know this.

Agreed... (1)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about 2 years ago | (#41913121)

...got to love those over-reaching science publication headlines. When I was young, we were all told we were supposed to be living in space colonies by now. If the Russians didn't kill us all first with laser-guided hydrogen bombs.

Instead we got Facebook, Twitter, fart apps on the iPhone, and World of Warcraft -- kind of the same thing really.

Re:Agreed... (2)

meta-monkey (321000) | about 2 years ago | (#41913595)

The truly sad thing is the direction of the thrust of technology in our most...valuable? profitable?...companies: advertising. Google: worth billions! Realizes the searchable web so they can...spy on people to better push ads at them. Facebook: (was) worth billions! Connects people as never before...so they can better push ads at you. Not rocketships, not men on the men...our best and brightest are hard at work pushing ads for dick pills.

Then at least occasionally somebody DOES set their sights higher [slashdot.org] , and look at the comments on Slashdot: a bunch a cynical whiners casting insults at Elon Musk.

See what happens when you indentify... (1)

3seas (184403) | about 2 years ago | (#41913081)

....the god particle.. Quantum Physics and the observer effect.... god stopped producing...

I can't explain it but, (5, Insightful)

Slutticus (1237534) | about 2 years ago | (#41913203)

for some reason this makes me incredibly sad.

Re:I can't explain it but, (2)

silverspell (1556765) | about 2 years ago | (#41913275)

Yeah, the first thing I thought of is "This is the saddest news I've heard in a while."

(Which is silly, but being human is also silly, so...)

Reminds me of The Last Question (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41913287)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Last_Question

Local Group 112 of the Star Union is on strike (3, Funny)

BLToday (1777712) | about 2 years ago | (#41913321)

This is what happens when God allowed the star makers to unionized. They get lazy and production drops.

I'll be using this news to tell me wife why I'm just sitting on the couch and not doing house chores. I want minimize my contribution to the heat death of the universe.

Not surprised (1)

andydread (758754) | about 2 years ago | (#41913351)

INAS and haven't RTFA yet but it would seem to me that this shouldn't be a shock to anyone. This may be a simplistic way of looking at it but I give it a shot.
If the universe is expanding it would seem that the ratio of globular clusters and the like where many stars are born to the amount of space from expansion would somewhat dilute the gravity needed to fuel star formation. So as the universe expands the effect on gravity on objects decreases and there for star formation grinds to a halt. Then again... I may be way off course here so off to RTFA..

Of course it stopped. (3, Funny)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about 2 years ago | (#41913373)

Do you know how much those things *cost* to build new. Jeez.

Re:Of course it stopped. (1)

meta-monkey (321000) | about 2 years ago | (#41913613)

Well, we're running out the non-renewable natural resources they use for fuel. Clearly, somebody needs to invent the electric star.

Good News Everyone (1)

kms_one (1272174) | about 2 years ago | (#41913541)

Based on the number of stars in the universe according to some random website I found, there are 5 x 10^21 stars yet to be born!

Chill down my back! (1)

madhi19 (1972884) | about 2 years ago | (#41913543)

Sudently I feel a cold chill down my back I look at the haven and said. "Winter is coming!"

Peak Hydrogen! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41913639)

Time to start panicing!

Star and planet production has been stopped (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41913669)

due to lack of demand and whole entire Margathea went into Chapter 11 is not news to some of us.

My God... (1)

flargleblarg (685368) | about 2 years ago | (#41913807)

...It's full of old stars.

Maybe a dumb thought, but... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41914031)

If what we "See" is information that's billions of years old, and any new information will take the same amount of time to reach us, how can they extrapolate what's happening now with any certainty? For all we know, the creation and expulsion of stars from whatever the center of the universe is comes in waves, and new waves of stellar bodies are created every day, but we won't know for a few billion years?

Is there any hope???? (1)

TheInternetGuy (2006682) | about 2 years ago | (#41914103)

Study: the Universe Has Almost Stopped Making New Stars

Is there any hope at all, that this will lead to the demise of American Idol?

Aw man, and I just switched careers to astronomy! (1)

Shag (3737) | about 2 years ago | (#41914115)

Okay, well, 8 years ago. But now I'm clearly going to have to find something else to do.
Kind of a toss-up between turnip farming, long-haul trucking, and niche porn*, I suppose.
*Turnip-farmer porn, long-haul trucker porn, turnip-farming long-haul trucker porn...

Who needs stars anyway? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41914141)

Supermassive blackholes contain plenty of energy waiting to be extracted through the Penrose process.

If we needed stars for some reason maybe we could manufacture some.

Obligatory Clarke reference (2)

Rudisaurus (675580) | about 2 years ago | (#41914155)

“Look,” whispered Chuck, and George lifted his eyes to heaven. (There is always a last time for everything.)

Overhead, without any fuss, the stars were going out.

Arthur C. Clarke, The Nine Billion Names Of God, 1953

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