Astrophysics (index)

Olbers' Paradox

(Dark Night Sky Paradox)
(argument using the dark of the sky regarding the nature of the universe)

Olbers' Paradox is an observation regarding the darkness of the night sky, specifically, that stars in every possible direction, as could be imagined in a universe that is infinitely large with an infinite number of randomly-distributed stars, would not show as a dark sky: it would all be bright. The "paradox" was named for Heinrich Wilhelm Olbers, an early writer on the conception. The fact that the sky is dark is taken as evidence that the universe does not extend homogeneously in all directions.