Astronomers studying 200,000 galaxies have confirmed that the universe is slowly dying.
The energy generated by the galaxies is only half what it was two billion years ago and fading, according to the results of a survey using seven of the world’s most powerful telescopes.
Lead scientist professor Simon Driver, from the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research in Western Australia, said: “The universe is fated to decline from here on in, like an old age that lasts forever.
“The universe has basically plonked itself down on the sofa, pulled up a blanket and is about to nod off for an eternal doze,” he said.
He said that all the energy in the universe was created in the Big Bang that created the cosmos, with some of it locked up as mass.
Stars shine by converting their mass into energy, as described by Albert Einstein’s famous equation E=MC squared.
Prof Driver said: “While most of the energy sloshing around was created in the aftermath of the Big Bang, additional energy is constantly being released by stars as they fuse elements like hydrogen and helium together.
The research, part of the Galaxy and Mass Assembly project, represents the largest multi-wavelength survey undertaken.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved