The Universe is DYING: Astronomers unveil stark new evidence that shows galaxies’ energy is half what it was two billion years ago
The universe is slowly dying, confirmed astronomers studying 200,000 galaxies.
Energy generated by the galaxies is only half what it was two billion years ago – and fading steadily, according to the results of a survey using seven of the world’s most powerful telescopes.
It is happening across all light wavelengths from the ultraviolet to the infrared.
‘The universe is fated to decline from here on in, like an old age that lasts forever,’ said lead scientist Professor Simon Driver, from the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) in Western Australia.
‘The universe has basically plonked itself down on the sofa, pulled up a blanket and is about to nod off for an eternal doze.’
The Galaxy And Mass Assembly (GAMA) study, released on Monday, is the largest multi-wavelength research to date.
Researchers collated data from the world’s most powerful telescopes, including the VIST and the VST at Chile’s Paranal Observatory, Nasa’s GALEX, WISE and a European Space Agency Herschel telescope.
In an unprecedented collection of data, they aimed to map and model all of the energy generated in the universe today.
They will now look into mapping the history of the universe’s energy.
All the energy in the universe was created in the Big Bang that created the cosmos, with some of it locked up as mass.
Stars shine by converting their mass into energy, as described by Albert Einstein’s famous equation E=MC squared.
However, this energy-making process is steadily in diminishing.
Professor Driver said: ‘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.
‘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.’
The fact that the universe is slowly fading has been known since the late 1990s but the new work is the most accurate and prolific study to date.
Professor Driver presented the findings at the International Astronomical Union’s general assembly in Honolulu, Hawaii.