In its youth, the universe was a roiling soup of star ingredients, with new stars forming rapidly. But now it's much quieter, and things are not expected to get more exciting anytime soon, astronomers say. For the first time, astronomers have figured out the universe's star-birth rate, and found that today, it's 30 times lower than its likely peak some 11 billion years ago. As a result, all of the future stars may be no more than a 5 percent increase above what we've got now.
Astronomers figured this out by taking snapshots of the universe at 2, 4, 6 and 9 billion years of age. (It's 13.7 billion years old now.) The results show a clear decline in star-forming activity. A team led by David Sobral at Leiden Observatory studied the universe's hydrogen-alpha emission line, which is a reliable indicator of star formation. They used Japan's Subaru Telescope and the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT) on Mauna Kea in Hawaii, and the Very Large Telescope in Chile, covering a huge portion of the sky.
The team's observing area encompassed the largest sky samples ever, more than 10 times larger than any previous samples. Observing the cosmos at different ages--so at different distances--with the same observational technique provides an apples-to-apples comparison.
It turns out that half the stars in existence now formed more than 9 billion years ago, and it took just 2 billion years to form all of them. The other half took almost five times as long to produce. If this trend continues, the universe will only get 5 percent more stars, even if we wait forever, the scientists say.
"We are clearly living in a universe dominated by old stars. All of the action in the universe occurred billions of years ago," Sobral said in a statement.
Better go enjoy them while we still can.
Flemming, 13.2 Billion light years calculated using a triangle with a base of 2 AU to measure a distance of 8.34755*10^14 AU from a platform that we don't actually know where is compared to the target, while the platform of unknown relative position is moving through the solar system which is moving through the galaxy which is moving within the universe... We think we can accurately measure 13.2 Billion light years and we don't even know where we are.
Still even at that, we have NEVER observed a star form we hypothesis that they form and that there was cooling gas from a magical big bang fairy tale. Where did the infinitely small dense mass come from. If it was so very dense and all spinning in one direction, then why isn't the universe 2-D we should have an infinitely thin ring of matter distributed evenly away from this exploding mass. Everything in that universe should spin the same direction as the original mass. If it is not a solid ring of mass, which it should be if it formed by cooling after the explosion, then it should be evenly distributed pieces of matter that are moving away from each other constantly just like any fragment leaving an explosion. How would any of them ever get close enough to allow gravity to bring them together? Getting clumps of matter from a big bang of an infinitely small spinning spec that exploded violently seems physically impossible unless all of those pieces were to have formed in a ring equidistant apart resulting in equlal force from all of the other particles which would have cooled at the same rate and formed at the same time thus forming a ring or disc of matter at some distance from the explosion. Physically that seems to fit with physics better. We know it isn't the case. But the big bang theory is unrealistic.