What’s the use anymore? Scientists at the Galaxy and Mass Assembly (GAMA) project have found that the energy output of the electromagnetic wavelengths of the nearby universe are currently half of what they were two billion years ago when this whole mess called life was just beginning. You know what that means: Drop what you’re doing right now, toss out all the money in your wallet, and ghost ride your expensive car off a cliff. Who cares what happens, the world is officially ending.
GAMA used some of the world’s most powerful telescopes in space and on the ground — including NASA’s GALEX and WISE explorers — to take electromagnetic readings of over 200,000 galaxies. The findings were the most comprehensive evaluation of the devolution of the universe yet undertaken.
The telescope collectively measured the energy in 21 different wavelengths from stars as they fuse hydrogen and helium together. As stars shine they convert mass to energy, just like Albert Einstein described in his famous E = mc2 equation. This energy would have been extremely intense at the outset of the Big Bang, but has since gradually dissipated over time. The significance in the study is that it’s the first time such a breadth of decay has been detected in the universe. So, you know, if you thought the ending of this season of True Detective was depressing, then you don’t know what you’re talking about.
The fact that the universe is slowly dying isn’t anything new. We’ve held the inevitable death of literally everything deep in our existentialist woes way before scientists found out the Sun will eventually vaporize our poor solar system in about 6 billion years, but GAMA’s study puts the end into context.
But there’s still hope, depending on how you look at it. In the video posted above, Dr. Luke Davies, a member of the research team that conducted the study says, “The universe will never really die. It will just grow old forever, slowly converting less and less mass into energy as billions of years pass by until eventually it will become a cold, dark, and desolate place where all of the lights go out.” Sounds gnarly, but don’t worry, you’ll be dead by the time the lights go out.