Scientists: the universe may disappear

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The mysteries of the cosmos: the universe may disappear. A group of Chinese astronomers had calculated the consequences of further expansion of the Universe

Ученые: Вселенная может исчезнуть

Dark energy — the mysterious substance that makes the boundaries of the Universe expand with acceleration, can cause the «Big break» and the destruction of the visible matter in 16 billion years.

«If a doomsday exists, how far is it left? According to our calculations, it will happen in about 103 billion years at best, and using a 16.7 billion in the worst. At this time the universe will cease to exist during the “Great gap,” write the authors.

A team of astronomers under the guidance of Xun Zhang (Zhang Xin) from Peking University, figured out the consequences of further expansion of the Universe under the influence of dark energy.

Dark energy is still largely mysterious substance of space, but it is, in the opinion of the scientists responsible for the accelerating expansion of the boundaries of the Universe. Without a deeper understanding of the nature and properties of dark energy, scientists are unable to predict the scenario, which will proceed further development of the Universe.

As stated by Zhang and his colleagues, the fate of the Universe depends on key properties of dark energy — how energy changes with the increase or decrease of its density. This relation is in cosmology parameter w. If this parameter is equal to or less than -1, then the universe will expand forever. A gradual weakening of gravity will lead to the destruction of galaxies, star systems, planets and eventually atoms and elementary particles.

The authors built their model further development of the Universe in the case of w = -1, and calculate possible scenarios for the death of all that consists of visible matter. For this, the researchers used data collected by the WMAP probe, the results of the project to study the SNLS3 supernovae and other astrophysical data, concerning dark energy and dark matter.

Zhang and his colleagues have modelled the behavior of dark matter in this parameter, and which are closest to values and came to the conclusion that the values of w, equal to or slightly less than -1, the scenario of the “Big break” is possible. According to their calculations, the destruction of the Universe will happen in 103 billion years under the most favorable model parameters, and using a 16.7 — when most inconvenient.

Approximately 33 million years before the “Big break” will break all galaxies, including our milky Way. The solar system will cease to exist two months before the destruction of the Universe, and the Earth will lose the moon five days before the hour “X”. Then comes the turn of the Earth, our planet will explode for 16 minutes before the end of all things, and for 30 attoseconds (10 to the minus 17 degree) to the “Big break” will cease to exist the atoms.

Astrophysics emphasize that this scenario remains a subject of simulations and speculation — in reality, the value of parameter w may be completely different. However, such studies can test the strength of modern cosmological models and help to clarify the experimental value w in the future, the scientists conclude.

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