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How the Universe Will End

Dark energy is spreading the universe apart—what’s it mean for astronomy in the future?
Publish Date: Topic: Space + FlightSpace & FlightNova
By Ana Aceves

Billions of years from now, there will be so much dark energy pushing the universe apart, galaxies will be moving away from each other faster than the speed of light. Even with the most powerful telescopes, astronomers looking to the night sky would see only empty space—to them, the universe would appear to be a single solitary galaxy. And without distant galaxies to study, they’d have no idea about the Big Bang, dark matter, or even the dark energy that left them isolated and alone. But at least for now, we know these exist.

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Major funding for NOVA Wonders is provided by the National Science Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and public television viewers, with additional funding for “Are We Alone?” and “What’s the Universe Made Of?” provided by the John Templeton Foundation.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DRL-1420749. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.