Star Formation Sputtering Out Across the Universe
The rate of star formation in the universe has dropped to just 3% of its long-ago peak, and there’s no end in sight to the decline, a new study finds. A team of astronomers has determined that the rate of star birth peaked around 11 billion years ago, just 2.7 billion years after the Big Bang that created the universe. It has been dropping ever since, and the rate now stands at just just one-thirtieth its historic high, researchers said.
“You might say that the universe has been suffering from a long, serious ‘crisis’,” said David Sobral, lead author of the study, which was published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. The new study may serve as a jumping-off point for other astronomers who wish to understand just why star formation is slowing to a trickle.