How will the Universe end? Or will it go on expanding forever?

Our Universe is expanding and has been increasing in size ever since its birth from the Big Bang. With the way it’s currently growing, we’re safe for now, given that it won’t be tearing itself in its demise for at least 2.8 billion years. But how will it happen?

Galaxies beyond our own galaxy, the Milky Way, are moving farther away from us, which means that those situated at the farthest place are traveling the fastest. But, it doesn’t matter which galaxy you are in, as all galaxies are shifting away from your area.

It’s excellent to note that all bodies in space are not moving in space, which is also moving per se. With that, the Universe has no definite center as everything in it is moving farther from each other. So, if the Milky Way’s distance from a specific galaxy is a million light year, this gap will soon grow to two, three, four, and so on million light-years and even into infinity due to the Universe’s expansion.

Since the ‘birth’ of the Universe around 13.7 billion years ago, it has been growing and can be limitless in area. With the technology that we have today, all we have information about is regarded as the ‘observable Universe,’ the scope circling Earth in which light can reach the planet.

Truth to be told, the Universe borders almost everything extant, from the littlest of all atoms to the biggest galaxies. One famous model that explains the Universe’s expansion is the Raisin Bread Model.

Under this model, you should think of the Universe as a loaf of raisin bread. As you bake the bread, the raisins in the dough (referring to all entities in the Universe) don’t change their size but move farther away from each other. The dough represents the space between these entities, which goes bigger and bigger as it rises. Luckily, the gravitational pull of the planet is enough to keep its raisins together, at least for a few billion years.

But, who figured out that the Universe is actually expanding? In 1925, Edwin Hubble, a renowned American astronomer, was able to prove that the Universe is growing. Through his observation, he was able to infer the presence of a direct relationship between the speed of faraway galaxies and their distance from the planet. Galaxies shift away from Earth at velocities relative to their distance from the planet. Dubbed as the Hubble’s Law, it simply implies the farthest galaxies move the fastest away from Earth.

Truth to be told, it might be less complicated to talk about how the Universe began than explaining how it will meet its end. It can be possible that the Universe will go expanding forever or else, face its doom through a Big Rip. Its continuous expansion will be forceful enough, tearing all entities inside it into separate units.

There are also assumptions that its expansion is slightly decreasing due to the force of gravity. Instead, it will implode like a singularity, causing a reverse of the Big Bang scenario that brought it to existence.

New research and studies about supernovae of distant galaxies and dark energy are being conducted, all of which allow us to define possible fates of the Universe. What’s great and certain is that the Universe will stay longer. But, if it somehow doesn’t, at least humans have already had a great run in its existence.

More Readings:

Universe (Wikipedia)

Related Posts: