A group of scientists from the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) in Western Australia found that the universe is "slowly dying." This description was made after they investigated 200,000 galaxies and identified the amount of energy produced inside a massive area of space in the most detailed approach ever performed. The findings of the research suggest that the energy generated in the Universe at present is only about 50 percent of the levels produced approximately two billions years ago.
But what exactly is "slow dying?"
"The universe will decline from here on in, sliding gently into old age," says Simon Driver, team leader and a professor at the University of Western Australia. Driver even compared the universe to someone who fundamentally plopped on a sofa, covered self with a blanket and doze off for all of eternity.
When the Big Bang occurred, all the energy in the universe was generated. Some of this energy was sealed as a mass. This mass, when converted into energy enables the stars to shine, as per the world-renowned formula discovered by Albert Einstein, E=MC2.
Majority of the energy released all around were produced after the Big Bang occurred. Nonetheless, extra energy being regularly released by the stars as it bind elements such as helium and hydrogen together, exists, Driver explains. The newly released energy only has two possible end-points: either it gets consumed by dust as it moves through its host galaxy or it travels into space until it collides with other objects such as a planet, another star or very rarely, a telescope mirror.
Slow dying comes in when the energy of the stars are exhausted, reports Nell Greenfieldboyce from NPR to All Things Considered.
"Once you've burned up all the fuel in the universe, essentially, that's it," says Joe Liske, member of the research team from the University of Hamburg. Just like a fire, a stars may die, leave ashes or pieces of burnt materials, glow a little bit more, get cooled down and eventually die.
Life is dependent on the energy that stars produced, says John Beacom, a physicist and astronomer at Ohio State University. With this, he concludes that the universe will slowly become bleaker as time pass. However, not a subtle concern seems apparent for him as he reasoned that death is inevitable, not only for humans, but for the universe too.
The generation of today and the next need not to panic tremendously as scientists expect the final light of the universe to go out after a few billions years more.
Photo: Robert Couse-Baker | Flickr