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The view of a galaxy in several different wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation. Credit: ICRAR/GAMA and ESO

The slow death of the Universe

A study, which surveyed 200,000 galaxies, has revealed that the universe is dying. There is no reason to be alarmed however as the process is slow and the universe will never actually die, it will just be devoid of bright stars. Furthermore, the slow fading of the universe won’t affect our sun or life on Earth in any way.

A group of astronomers used several of the world’s most powerful telescopes to examine about 200,000 galaxies in 21 different wavelengths ranging from ultraviolet to infrared. They found that the universe is putting out roughly half of the energy it was 2 billion years ago.

The project is called the Galaxy and Mass Assembly project or GAMA. It is the largest galactic surgery every conducted. The idea of the slow death of the galaxy however isn’t anything new for astronomers but what they didn’t know was the extent to which it is happening. The team found it occurring across a wide range of wavelengths.

Many of the smaller M class stars have life cycles that are much longer than the current age of he universe so it will be a very long time before all of the lights go out. Eventually as stars die, the energy will dissipate. Stars will convert less and less mass into energy and won’t release light. This will result in complete darkness several trillion years in the future.

Not only is energy dissipating, but stars are being formed at increasingly slower rate. Some of the material released from an exploding star gets locked away instead of being recycled in the formation of a new star.

By this time, there will probably be no evidence of any human existence. The sun will have long gone supernova and will be destroyed in the process. The ingredients that made up the sun will have been recycled and used in the formation of another star and that stars life would have ended.

About Harry H

Harry H
Harry is currently studying biology and chemistry in University and hopes to go to grad school for evolutionary biology. He enjoys writing about sciences and sports and is a big fan of hockey and soccer. Some of his other interests are reading and rock climbing. Contact Harry: