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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Big Rip could end universe: Nobel Laureate

Stars will disappear, the sun will go out and then the earth and our bodies will be ripped into pieces.

This Big Rip, Nobel Laureate Brian Schmidt says, might be the way our universe ends and it may happen "on literally a human time scale".

At a public talk by the Australian Astronomical Observatory in Sydney on Wednesday night, Prof Schmidt - a joint winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize for Physics - described how our universe is rapidly expanding.

The expansion, Prof Schmidt said, will eventually force our neighbouring galaxy - Andromeda Spiral - to merge with our Milky Way in about three billion years.

While it sounds messy, the space between our stars means it will be less like a train wreck and more like two swarms of bees coming together, he said.

Nevertheless, it will irrecoverably alter our view from earth.

"We will see stars but we will look out into an empty universe," he said. Read More