When a winner has been selected, the ballots are burned alone, and the white smoke indicates there is a new pope.
What will Pope Benedict do after his resignation?
Lombardi said it was expected that Pope Benedict would devote his time to reflection and prayer.
In his statement, Pope Benedict said he wished "to also devotedly serve the Holy Church of God in the future through a life dedicated to prayer."
The Vatican said Pope Benedict would eventually move to a monastery within the Vatican.
What will Pope Benedict be known as once he has stepped down as Pope?
According to the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, Pope Benedict will return to being known as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger once he has stepped down as pope. He will be addressed as his eminence or Cardinal Ratzinger.