Think of all the stars in our universe like all the grains of sand on all the beaches on Earth. A number so vast, so incalculable, that for sake of argument, you could claim there is an infinite number of grains. When, in reality, it’s a finite number. At some point, the depth of sand ends, becoming rock or some other substantial substance. Expanding out, the sandbox of earth has a measurable limit at the highest mountain top, to the outer layer of atmosphere surrounding our planet.
In a single lifetime, there is no possibility of counting these grains of sand. New ones are constantly being created, just as old ones cease to exist, but there is a theoretical end to them.
Scientific principles tell us that our universe is ever-expanding, so we could postulate that new stars, much like new grains of sand, are constantly being formed as old stars die out.
We know that the stars we view in our night skies are millions of miles out in space. That based on the speed of light, these stars may have died eons ago and we are only now seeing their brilliance.
Now, speculate that our universe is fixed. That instead of expanding, it’s collapsing upon itself. That as old stars die, no new stars are created. That at some point in our existence, what we see as stars are only the lingering echo of their life force. That some day, in the not too distant future, those stars we are so familiar with, begin to blink out.
Our Milky Way slowly becomes darker and darker, as one by one, the last remnants of those last stars fade away until the only star remaining is our own sun… then it too implodes.
Perhaps we are at the beginning of the end of our days. As each star ceases to exist, the accumulation of their final measure of light and energy ripples through the universe, spawning hurricanes, deadly winter storms, earthquakes, tsunamis, and tornadoes.
When was the last time you gazed at the night sky, searching for familiar stars and constellations?
*Photo venue: Henderson Beach State Park, Destin, FL