Stars in space has always attracted the astronomers to study them more and more. But while an international team of astronomers made a survey upon those mysterious stars, they became bewildered. The astronomers found that a lot of stars in space had already disappeared from space.
Using three powerful telescopes – Subaru Telescope (in Hawaii), the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT) (in Hawaii), and the Very Large Telescope (VLT) (in Chile), the international team of astronomers led by David Sobral from Leiden Observatory studied the trends in star formation, from the earliest days of the universe. Their study reveals that half of all the stars that have ever existed were created more than 9 billion years ago, with the other half created in the years since. This clearly depicts that the rate at which new stars are born has dropped off massively. Astronomers also mentioned that if this trend (decrease of new stars’ birth) continues, that means that 95% of all the stars that this universe will ever see have already been born.
On the Subaru Telescope’s site, the study’s lead author David Sobral writes : “The production of stars in the Universe as a whole has been continuously declining over the last 11 billion years; it is 30 times lower today than at its likely peak 11 billion years ago. If this trend continues, no more than five percent more stars will exist in the Universe. We are clearly living in a Universe dominated by old stars. All of the action in the Universe occurred billions of years ago! If we use our consistent measurement of the star formation history of the Universe to predict the number of stars that should exist across cosmic time, then the numbers are a perfect match to what is actually seen. The two measurements can finally be reconciled. Half of the stars that currently exist in the Universe were formed more than 9 billion years ago in less than 2 billion years, while after that, it took the Universe almost 5 times as much time to produce the same quantity.”
The study has been published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, and is available to read here