RE: The Big Bang

Greg Butler (
Tue, 4 Nov 1997 08:06:25 -0500

On Monday, November 03, 1997 8:32 AM, John K Clark []
> By the way, if as you say the universe is infinite in all directions and
> is infinitely old and has an infinite number of stars, how do you explain
> Olber's Paradox. Why is the sky dark at night?
> Pick any point in the night sky and extend a line from you to that point,
> eventually the line will hit the surface of a star, so the entire sky
> be as bright as the sun. Put it another way, all the light emitted by an
> infinite number of stars would have nowhere to go, it would accumulate
> vaporize the earth. Your interstellar gas would be no help because it
> heat up too.

While I have no idea on whether the universe is infinitely large or not,
an answer to this "paradox" seems a bit obvious. Imagine you have a star,
and a senser right next to it. You would be reading a great deal of energy
from the sensor. Now, move the sensor several light years away. You would
read a great deal less energy, since most of the energy from the star would
be radiating away from the sensor. Basically, all that energy from an
infinite amount of stars would be radiating away into an infinte amount of
space. That's why our skies would be dark in an infinite universe. As for
the heating up part, <excuse me while I violate Occam's Razor (sp?)> there
could be energy abosrbing objects that create mass . . . or, the universe
can't create enough energy to fill an infinitely large void . . .

I wonder if there is anyway to show that the universe is infinitely large.
Start counting stars? <grin>