Have you ever wondered why you look up and see a dark sky at night?

kiranvoid

If Star Layer A is twice as far from Earth as Star Layer B, then the amount of light that reaches us from each star in A is only one-fourth the amount of light that reaches us from each star in B; but there are four times as many stars in A as there are in B.

The answer to this seemingly simple question may boggle your brain. It’s actually a famous cosmological problem, formally known as Olbers’ Paradox. (Heinrich Olbers was a German astronomer who popularized discussion of this subject in 1826.) You might think that the question can be explained away by the effect of distance — not so. To fully understand the perplexity, picture stars of equal brightness distributed evenly in concentric layers around Earth, like shells around a nut. The same amount of light should reach Earth from each layer, because although the amount of light…

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