“As the blackness of the night recedes so does the nadir of yesterday. The child I am forgets so quickly.” –Sylvia Ashton-Warner
While the night sky is littered with thousands of points of light — the stars visible to the naked eye — we know that beyond what human perception can see, there are hundreds of billions of stars in our galaxy alone, and hundreds of billions of galaxies in the observable Universe. Yet every star that ever has shone or will shine will someday run out of fuel and die.
When that happens, the inner core of the star contracts down to form a tiny, degenerate but very hot object. But even so, no object with a finite amount of energy can shine forever. At some point, even those stellar remnants will cool down out of the visible portion of the spectrum. But how long will that take, how will that happen, and has the Universe been around long enough (yet) so that such an object exists?