Survival Update

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What Will It Be Like When We Reach The End Of The Universe?

The Universe as we know it began some 13.8 billion years ago with the onset of the hot Big Bang. Ever since that early stage, our cosmos has been expanding, cooling, and gravitating in accordance with the laws of physics. As the Universe unfolded, we passed a series of important milestones that led to the Universe we observe and inhabit today. After 13.8 billion years, on one world in an outer arm of a non-descript galaxy on the outskirts of our local supercluster, human beings emerged.

It’s been spectacular how we’ve managed to put together our entire cosmic history, from what set up and caused the Big Bang until the present day. But that leads to one spectacular question that humanity has long wondered about: what is our ultimate fate? What will it be like when we reach the end of the Universe? After countless generations of searching, we’re closer than ever to the answer.

On a local scale, we have our planet orbiting the Sun as one component of our Solar System. But on long timescales, things get exciting relatively quickly. The Sun, as it burns through the nuclear fuel in its core, slowly heats up and becomes more luminous: over the 4.5 billion years that our Solar System has been around, the Sun has increased its energy output by about 20-25%.

In another one or two billion years, the Sun’s temperature will increase by a great enough amount that Earth will heat up so severely that our planet’s oceans will boil. This will effectively end all life on Earth (at least, as we know it) at that time, bringing an end to whatever lives our surviving descendants and our evolutionary cousins continue to enjoy. But the demise of our planet will likely go unnoticed by the cosmos.