Tags: universe | dying | survey | galaxies | energy | output

Universe Is Dying: Survey of 200K Galaxies Confirms Energy Output Slowing

Image: Universe Is Dying: Survey of 200K Galaxies Confirms Energy Output Slowing
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By    |   Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 08:41 AM

A new, comprehensive survey of more than 200,000 galaxies seems to confirm what scientists have long suspected: The universe is dying.

"The universe will decline from here on in, sliding gently into old age," Simon Driver, a professor at the University of Western Australia who leads the Galaxy and Mass Assembly (GAMA) project team, said in a statement this week.

"The universe has basically sat down on the sofa, pulled up a blanket and is about to nod off for an eternal doze," he added.

Researchers from the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) made their finding after studying hundreds of thousands of galaxies at 21 different wavelengths. Across that survey, they found that cosmic energy output has fallen by half since just 2 billion years ago.

"While most of the energy sloshing around in the universe arose in the aftermath of the Big Bang, additional energy is constantly being generated by stars as they fuse elements like hydrogen and helium together," Driver said.

"This new energy is either absorbed by dust as it travels through the host galaxy, or escapes into intergalactic space and travels until it hits something, such as another star, a planet, or, very occasionally, a telescope mirror."

"Once you've burned up all the fuel in the universe, essentially, that's it," Joe Liske of the University of Hamburg, one of the members of the research team, explained to NPR. "The stars die, like a fire dies, and then you have embers left over that then glow but eventually cool down. And the fire just goes out."

"This pretty much closes the case: Yes, it's coming to an end," added John Beacom, a physicist and astronomer at Ohio State University.

The universe, thought to have begun roughly 14 billion years ago with the so-called Big Bang, has since continued to expand outward into space. Scientists have suspected the universe is dying since roughly the 1990s.

For those worried at the thought that the universe is "dying," many scientists say that humans have plenty of time left before it goes quiet — probably a few billion years.

The comprehensive survey behind the new findings also produced a fascinating digital model of thousands of galaxies, seen below.



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A new, comprehensive survey of more than 200,000 galaxies seems to confirm what scientists have long suspected: The universe is dying.
universe, dying, survey, galaxies, energy, output
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2015-41-12
Wednesday, 12 Aug 2015 08:41 AM
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