Not to bum you out, but many scientists believe that the universe will eventually die — stars and even black holes will release energy until there’s virtually nothing left. And unfortunately, there’s now stronger evidence that this inexorable decline is real. Scientists using radio telescopes have measured the energy output of 200,000 galaxies with greater precision than ever, and they’ve determined that these star havens are only producing half as much energy as they were 2 billion years ago. In short, the universe is fading out. This isn’t surprising (entropy is inescapable in our understanding of physics), but it does downplay theories that the universe might maintain or even regain energy.
This isn’t to say you should worry about the universe decaying any time soon. Current models have new stars forming until well over 1 trillion years after the Big Bang, and it’ll take over a quintillion years before galaxies bite the dust. Humanity likely won’t be around when it’s really obvious that the universe is dying — this is just a hint at what will happen after we’re gone.[Image credit: NASA, ESA, R. Ellis (Caltech), and the HUDF 2012 Team, Flickr]