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Portrait of Edgar Allen Poe, American author

Portrait of Edgar Allen Poe, American author

H416/0188

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SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Edgar Allen Poe. Portrait of Edgar Allen Poe (1809-49), American author and the first person to suggest an answer to Olbers' Paradox which asked why the sky is dark at night. The Paradox, first stated by Heinrich Olbers (1758-1840), centred on why the light from the infinite number of stars in the Universe could not be seen. Poe's solution was that in a static Universe there has not been enough time since the Creation for the light from far-away stars to reach us. He presented his theory in a lecture which was reprinted as an essay in 1848. Poe's theory has since been superseded by theories which include the expansion of the Universe.

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