One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The apparent paradox that if stars are distributed evenly throughout an infinite universe, the sky should be as bright by night as by day, since more distant stars would be fainter but more numerous. This is not the case because the universe is of finite age, and the light from the more distant stars is dimmed because they are receding from the observer as the universe expands.
1950s: named after Heinrich W. M. Olbers (1758–1840), the German astronomer who propounded it in 1826.
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