The terrifying way our universe will end - and when
Our universe is racing toward its destruction as we speak. The end is not going to be especially pleasant, but when that end will happen is still a point of contention amongst cosmologists. Following is a transcript of the video:
Everything has a beginning and an end - including our universe. But what will the end of everything we know look like, and when will it happen?
Let's start with the area we know best - our Solar System. One billion years from now the sun will be 10% brighter than it is todayThis will raise the surface temperature on Earth, causing oceans to evaporate faster, and extinguishing most, if not all, life on Earth.
No one will be around to witness our next big event in 4 to 5 billion years.
Right now, the Milky Way galaxy is locked in a gravitational dance with a nearby galaxy called Andromeda. The two galaxies are racing toward each other at 250,000 mph and will collide less than 5 billion years from now .
Luckily, astronomers predict that our solar system will remain intact as these two titans battle it out.
From 5 to 8 billion years, the sun's nuclear furnace will undergo a dramatic shift, causing it to expand to enormous size and engulf Mercury, Venus, and possibly Earth . But our sun isn't the only thing expanding - so is the entire universe.
And that expansion is speeding up.If the expansion continues to accelerate, then in 100 billion years , the gap between galaxies will be growing so fast that light from distant galaxies will no longer reach us.
We won't be able to see, or study, any galaxies beyond our cosmic neighborhood, called the local group. The local group is a collection of about 50 galaxies , which are bound to each other by gravity.
Over time, between 100 billion - 1 trillion years from now, all of these galaxies - including our own - will merge into a single galaxy. It will be just one of billions of galaxies across the universe unable to see or communicate with one another.
Skipping ahead to 100 trillion years in the future, we enter the Degenerate Era - when all stars in the universe will die, leaving behind cool, dim remnants.
Eventually, in 10-100 quintillion years, these stellar remnants will either have escaped their galaxy's pull , or will have spiraled into the supermassive black hole at the center.
A decillion ( 1033) years into the future, black holes will dominate our universe, ushering in a new era called the Black Hole Era.
But that's not the end - even black holes die, eventually. They slowly lose mass through a phenomenon called Hawking radiation.
In about 10100 (a googol) years, the last black hole will evaporate into oblivion.After this point, most astronomers agree that the universe will continue to expand, cooling and losing energy in the process.
Eventually the universe will no longer have the energy to produce new planets or stars. While this dismal outcome is eons in our future, there is another, less likely outcome that could happen much sooner.
It's called the "Big Rip," and it's where the mysterious force that's pushing our universe apart will grow so strong that it will rip every fundamental piece of every atom in the universe to shreds.
Some astronomers estimate this could happen as soon as 1 trillion years from now. Either way, both scenarios leave us with a universe where no light or life will ever exist, again.
It may be a bleak future ahead, so be sure to make the most of your time right now.
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