Researchers from the International Center for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) in Australia have measured the energy generated across 200,000 galaxies more precisely than ever before, discovering it is only half of what it was 2 billion years ago and is continually fading, reports Xinhua.
Simon Driver from ICRAR said on Tuesday the research looks “bleak” but “we have a long time”.
“It’s going to be a long retirement and a slow dwindling process,” Driver said. “It’s about 100 billion years or so until all starlight stops being produced.”
It has been known since the late 1990s that the universe is slowly fading; however this latest work shows it is happening at all wavelengths.
“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,” Driver said.
The scientists used seven of the world’s most powerful telescopes to observe the galaxies and map various types of energy output, from far infrared to the far ultraviolet.
Initial observations were conducted using the Anglo-Australian Telescope in New South Wales, Australia, and two orbiting space telescopes operated by NASA and another belonging to the European Space Agency made supporting observations.
Driver will present this work at the General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union in Honolulu on Tuesday.