The Universe is a big place with billions of stars. However, a group of international scientists believe the Universe may have already created 95 percent of all stars it will create over its lifetime.
The group of researchers used the Subaru Telescope, the UK Infrared Telescope in Hawaii, and the Very Large Telescope in Chile to examine star formation and to determine how many more stars the Universe is likely to create.
Lead author David Sobral of Leiden University tells TIME that researchers looks for the the H-alpha photons emitted by hydrogen atoms when a star forms in their hunt for data “from stranger and smaller galaxies.”
Snapshots from various regions around the universe showcases the Universe’s life span at 2, 4, 6, and 9 billion years ago. According to the study, more than half of all stars that existed more than nine billion users ago.
Sobral does admit that many dying stars could create new stars, although the chance of those formations are narrow.
The researchers believe that the specifics of gas cooling and becoming dense is much harder now than it was many billions and even millions of years ago.
The new challenge for the group of researchers will be to examine specific stars to see how the environment surrounding their formations changed.
Sobral admits that, right in our own Milky Way Galaxy, it will be a very long time before we see the birth of the last star. The Milky Way is very star dense, which has allowed researchers to examine star formation with some degree of believed accuracy.