When 14 Billion Years Just Isn't Enough Time [Preview]
Some say its glory days are long gone, but the universe has life in it yet. Brand-new types of celestial phenomena will unfold over the coming billions and trillions of years
February 20, 2012 | 23|
Image: Illustration by Kenn Brown, Mondolithic Studios
- Although the grand era of galaxy and star formation is over, the universe remains a vigorous place. In the future stars will gradually shift their appearance as their composition changes. Star and planet systems will fall apart, and celestial objects that now are rare will become common, such as dense balls of helium. In some ways, the universe in the future may be more hospitable to life than it is today.
- Considering the far future of the cosmos is more than inherently interesting. The far distant future provides astrophysicists with an intellectual sandbox, a way for them to grasp the implications of their theories and observations.