Researchers from the International Center for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) in Australia have suggested that the universe is dying but there is no need to panic as there is still about 100 billion years to go. The researchers measured the energy generated across 200,000 galaxies more precisely than ever before, and discovered that it is only half of what it was 2 billion years ago and is continually fading.
Simon Driver from ICRAR said, "Research looks bleak but we have a long time. It's going to be a long retirement and a slow dwindling process. It's about 100 billion years or so until all starlight stops being produced. It has been known since the late 1990s that the universe is slowly fading; however this latest work shows it is happening at all wavelengths. 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."
The research team used seven of the world's most powerful telescopes to observe the galaxies and map various types of energy output, from far infrared to the far ultraviolet. The initial observations were conducted using the Anglo-Australian Telescope in New South Wales, Australia, and two orbiting space telescopes operated by NASA and another belonging to the European Space Agency made supporting observations.
The researchers will present this work at the General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union in Honolulu.