Share this entry

Share this page

Olbers' paradox

Line breaks: Ol¦bers' Para|dox
Pronunciation: /ˈɒlbəz
 
/

Definition of Olbers' paradox in English:

noun

Astronomy
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.

Origin

1950s: named after Heinrich W. M. Olbers (1758–1840), the German astronomer who propounded it in 1826.

Definition of Olbers' paradox in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day snarf
Pronunciation: snɑːf
verb
eat or drink quickly or greedily