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The Star Slump: New star formation only 3% of the universe's peak rate

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posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 05:33 PM
Are the lights going out? A new study suggest that the rate of star formation in the universe has slowed dramatically:

"...In the largest ever study of its kind, the international team of astronomers has established that the rate of formation of new stars in the Universe is now only 1/30th of its peak and that this decline is only set to continue...

...'If the measured decline continues, then no more than 5% more stars will form over the remaining history of the cosmos, even if we wait forever. The research suggests that we live in a universe dominated by old stars. Half of these were born in the 'boom' that took place between 11 and 9 billion years ago and it took more than five times as long to produce the rest. "The future may seem rather dark, but we're actually quite lucky to be living in a healthy, star-forming galaxy which is going to be a strong contributor to the new stars that will form....


While this will hardly effect any of us currently alive, and while there are still "billions and billions" of stars out there, it is an interesting phenomenon. Moreover, none of the astronomers seem to have a theory as to why new star formation has slowed to such a trickle. Perhaps the minds of ATS would like to take a crack at this cosmic problem?

posted on Dec, 18 2012 @ 05:47 PM
Like all explosions, energy must eventually recede. This could be credible evidence to the "Big Crunch' theory but who really knows if the Universe can continue to expand after the stars start forming. In my honest opinion, I don't think the Universe can expand as it needs heat from new stars to continue it's expansion but what happens after remaining stars cool down or die out? Will the Universe shrink on itself? Hence why I mentioned the 'Big Crunch'.

Nice thread OP, definitely is something I'm interested in. Just how long ago did this start happening? The stars that stopped forming? I know the future we look outwards say billions of lightyears away usually means it started happening billions of years ago right? Now I don't mean to turn it into a doomsday thread, but what if the Timewave Zero was right all along? It started with the big bang and ended at 0 on December 21, 2012? It could very well be the day our simulation could possibly end.

posted on Dec, 19 2012 @ 12:44 AM
reply to post by silent thunder

Firs of all, I want to state that I am not one of the ATS resident scholars. This post merely reminded me of an article that I read on Dutch end-of-the-world website.


Now, this site is almost a decade old. I don't make any claims to the veracity of its content. In particular, I found it amusing that the 1st sentence of your OP is similar to a sentence in this link. The article itself is written in a sarcastic tone. Even so, it does bear a few similarities.

To your OP, the only theory I would put forth is that our universe is either A) much older than we imagine, B) Accelerating much faster than we imagine, or C) That we are EONS of years old and have simply popped into existence yet again.

posted on Dec, 19 2012 @ 07:21 AM
reply to post by silent thunder

This quote is from the OP article:

'Moreover, while these measurements provide a sharp picture of the decline of star-formation in the Universe, they also provide ideal samples to unveil an even more fundamental mystery which is yet to be solved: why?"
I have no idea why he would ask that...the answer seems pretty self-evident.

The big bang event was postulated to start the universe with eventually a lot of hydrogen, which is star fuel. The larger stars fused the hydrogen at faster rates than our sun, so a lot of early stars quickly formed and quickly died, but not before using up a lot of hydrogen fuel in the process. But there is no new source of hydrogen, so each time a star consumes its hydrogen fuel, and converts it to helium and even heavier elements, that hydrogen is no longer available to form new stars.

So to me the question is kind of analogous to asking why your car stops running when there's no more new fuel added to the gas tank. If you consume the fuel you have, and don't add any more, what's the mystery about why the fuel-burning stops in the car (or slows down star formation as hydrogen becomes relatively more rare?).

The "why" seems extremely obvious to me, so I don't see any mystery, but I may be missing something.
edit on 19-12-2012 by Arbitrageur because: clarification

posted on Dec, 19 2012 @ 01:31 PM
As Arbitrageur said, I don't think there is anything unusual about this and further staples the expansion of the universe and the transmutation of materials from Hydrogen into other materials.

During the early universe star formation would have been rapid due to the abundance of material and the constant fire crackers of big stars going supernova every 100,000 years in the early galaxies. Supernova promote star formation, not only because they replenish space with their gasses, but the shockwaves help seed new stars to form by increasing local matter densities.

It is totally natural that star formation has decreased, it is no shock either when you look at our local group, the sun and tau ceti being the only yellow-ish ones around, everything else being cooler, smaller and more boring... the cooler stars have longer lives, so sure, seems all to make sense that most stars forming now are cooler and live longer than before

posted on Dec, 20 2012 @ 12:55 PM
Obviously the star creators are butthurt that they didn't get another capital gains tax cut.

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