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New study tracks the death of our Universe

The GAMA study is the most comprehensive energy output survey of the Universe to date
The GAMA study is the most comprehensive energy output survey of the Universe to date
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The GAMA study is the most comprehensive energy output survey of the Universe to date
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The GAMA study is the most comprehensive energy output survey of the Universe to date

A new study hasmeasured 200,000 galaxies in an effort to chart the rate at which ourUniverse is outputting energy, and effectively dying. The study ispart of the larger Galaxy And Mass Assembly (GAMA) project, acomprehensive spectroscopic survey seeking to create a model ofenergy production by the Universe, both in the present day and intimes past.

The ambitious surveymade use of the three orbital telescopes, GALEX, Herschel and WISE,along with a host of ground-based observatories and survey data. Thecombination of these facilities and resources allowed GAMA to measurethe energy output of the sample galaxies in 21 wavelengths rangingfrom ultraviolet to the far infrared.

Some of the energydetected by the telescopes was created in the Big Bang andsubsequently locked up in mass, which is today released via thenuclear fusion reaction that takes place at the heart of every star.Other sources of energy emission include the vast disks of super hotmaterials surrounding black holes, quasars, and the massive dustclouds that re-radiate absorbed stellar energy.

The sheer range ofenergy being measured by the GAMA study renders it superior to otherforerunner surveys that have attempted to map the Universe using onlya narrow wavelength range. GAMA has been able to assume a morepanchromatic approach thanks to rapid technological advancements inthe field of astronomy and logistics, and a leviathan collaborationinvolving nearly 100 scientists from over 30 universities.

Based on theinformation from the sample galaxies, the study concludes that theenergy being output by our Universe has reduced by half in roughlytwo billion years across all wavelengths from the ultraviolet to theinfrared. The results of the study support what has been suspectedsince the late 1990s – that the lights are going out, and that ourUniverse is slowly dying.

"The Universe willdecline from here on in, sliding gently into old age," concludesSimon Driver, head of the international GAMA team. "The Universehas basically sat down on the sofa, pulled up a blanket and is aboutto nod off for an eternal doze.”

The informationcollected by the study has now been released to the astronomicalcommunity, with the researchers hoping to leverage state of the artfacilities such as the planned Square Kilometre Array tomap energy production over the complete history of our Universe.

Scroll down for afly-through of the GAMA Galaxy Survey. Note that the distancesbetween galaxies is accurate though the galaxies themselves have beenenlarged for better viewing.

Source: ESO

Fly through of the GAMA Galaxy Survey

7 comments
Bob
That our universe is dying is old news. The universe has a little over 1000 years left before being recreated. How long is "a little over"? No one knows.
Solomookie
Isn't saying "a little over 1000 years left" like saying the ocean contains a little over a 1000 gallons of water? The article says that the universe has lost 1/2 its energy output in 2 billion years. 1000 years is barely a measurable increment of time in comparison. I'm not being a smart-ass; I just don't understand the comment.
Douglas Bennett Rogers
Much confusion here! The loss of energy is due to predominance of large, fast burning stars and quasars in the early universe. Stars smaller than the Sun will last for many billions of years and continue to form for much longer. The universe would be much dimmer but more favorable to biochemical life.
Cigarshaped
The Standard Model is so Negative, or more accurately electrically empty. Wait until you see how the alternative view is progressing, ie it's suggested that Electric Stars power the galaxies. A virtually limitless supply of energy which courses through the Birkeland Current veins of the Universe. Now the SAFIRE team is even measuring the resonant current needed to sustain a model plasma Sun. Fusion is the byproduct and coming along nicely. Have a look at this introduction: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbI-PduG6cs and here: https://www.thunderbolts.info/wp/2015/06/07/preview-with-monty-childs-safire-project-update-eu2015/
Road tar
For those who estimate the age of the universe at ~6000 years, the timescale of 1000 years seems reasonable. A thousand years does seem to be too short of a time estimate to me, I suspect a trillion years will turn out to be a more accurate estimate.
apprenticeearthwiz
These calculations and predictions are based on our current cosmology which posits an entropic, therefore non-biological, universe. An assumption and an unexamined one at that. There's strong evidence the universe may be biological. That might produce a more satisfying answer than 'In the beginning there was nothing which then exploded'.
ArtistDe
Know one knowes how long the universe will last. These so called scientist who think they know all are usually wrong. Just check out oast history of what scientist predicted.