A new comprehensive study of wavelengths has confirmed that the universe will eventually die.
As part of the Galaxy and Mass Assembly (GAMA) project, researchers observed over 200,000 galaxies and found that the energy generated is only half of what was given out two billion years ago.
The universe’s impending death has been known since the 1990s but this is the most comprehensive research to date, which confirms a decrease in energy across several wavelengths including ultraviolet and infrared.
Scientists from the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) in Western Australia are essentially confirming observations made by NASA and ESA telescopes.
Professor Simon Driver, who lead the team, explained the phenomena in simpler terms:
“The Universe is fated to decline from here on in, like an old age that lasts forever. The Universe has basically plonked itself down on the sofa, pulled up a blanket and is about to nod off for an eternal doze.”
According to ICRAR, their team used seven of the world’s most powerful telescopes to map out and “model all of the energy generated within a set volume of space.
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They did this by observing galaxies at 21 different wavelengths from the far ultraviolet to the far infrared.
Some of the energy in the universe is stored up as mass and when stars shine, they convert this mass into energy.
“While most of the energy sloshing around was created in the aftermath of the Big Bang, additional energy is constantly being released by stars as they fuse elements like hydrogen and helium together,” Driver explains.
He continues: “This newly released 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, planet, or very occasionally a telescope mirror.”
On the bright side, maybe this will bring us one step closer to Milliways — “the restaurant at the end of the universe.”