Hi there! As I understand it, Olber’s Paradox asks in its most basic form: “If the universe is static, infinitely old and filled with uniformly distributed stars, then why is the night sky dark?”
It was named after German astronomer Heinrich Olbers in 1823, but astronomers have been asking and posing solutions to this question for centuries. However, it’s not a paradox anymore because we understand more about the universe. Basically, the answer boils down to three facts:
- The universe is not infinitely old but instead has a finite age
- The universe is expanding and so stars are receding away from us
- Light has a speed limit, so light from distant stars hasn’t reached us yet
Bonus fact: Writer and poet Edgar Allan Poe gave the first scientifically viable answer in 1848 - he suggested that while the universe might be infinite in size, perhaps it’s not infinite in age, so there hasn’t been enough time for starlight to reach us from the distant reaches of space.
For a more in-depth answer, you should check out Minute Physics’ amazing and entertaining explanation!