End of Universe – estimated earliest time

End of Universe – estimated earliest time (Image source: nasa.gov)
End of Universe – estimated earliest time (Image source: nasa.gov)

Main Point:

Universe would end earlier than the anticipated time for the Sun to burn completely.

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Study Further:

Scientific observation of the stars and galaxies in our universe are showing that the universe is continuously expanding, and the rate of this expansion is continuously increasing. After looking at this continuous expansion, one of the suggested possibilities for the future is that, the stars would die, everything in the universe will drift out, and the universe would come to an eternal “heat death”.

The acceleration of the universe is thought to be caused by dark energy, which is a mysterious thing thought to be present in the whole universe. With increase in the total amount of dark energy, acceleration of the expansion of the universe would also increase, eventually resulting in tearing apart of the space-time leading to the end of everything.

One idea was that the tearing apart would take place after 22 billion years. However, researchers worked on the idea to find out whether the incidence of tearing apart could happen sooner. They studied various cosmological models for future. They calculated a probable timeline by using the present information about expansion of the universe. The data also involved the measurement of dark energy by considering the information obtained from neighboring galaxies, ripples in the density of matter referred to as baryon acoustic oscillations, and supernovae. In other words, researchers were trying to find the general lower bound for the time of a probable future singularity.

“We show that quite generally, the lower bound for the singularity time cannot be smaller than about 1.2 times the age of the universe, what roughly speaking means approximately 2.8 Gyrs (i.e. 2.8 billion years) from the present time,” researchers reported in the paper. This time is smaller than the expected time for the Sun to burn completely, i.e. about 5 to 7 billion years. On the other hand, the upper bound would go to infinity, i.e. the tearing apart would never happen.

“A singular scenario cannot be discarded and the time remaining for the occurrence of a future singularity may be shorter than expected,” researchers noted


Jose Beltran Jimenez, Ruth Lazkoz, Diego Saez-Gomez, & Vincenzo Salzano (2016). Observational support for approaching cosmic doomsday arXiv arXiv: 1602.06211v1

Usman Zafar Paracha

Usman Zafar Paracha is Assistant Professor, Pharmaceutics, in Hajvery University, Lahore, Pakistan.