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    Default Question regarding the end of the universe



    I'm in no way well informed about astronomy or physics for that matter, I do have one question that interests me though. If the universe's demise involves heat death after the last star dims out, where would that star most likely be located? Is there any estimation as to its relative location to our own sun? I'd very much appreciate a more informed opinion than my own on this subject.

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    Default Re: Question regarding the end of the universe

    Quote Originally Posted by jimbobwales View Post
    I'm in no way well informed about astronomy or physics for that matter, I do have one question that interests me though. If the universe's demise involves heat death after the last star dims out, where would that star most likely be located? Is there any estimation as to its relative location to our own sun? I'd very much appreciate a more informed opinion than my own on this subject.
    There is no way astrophysics can answer this question. It would require extrapolating well beyond our observations. We can't even observe most of the universe.

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    Default Re: Question regarding the end of the universe

    Welcome to the Astronomy Forum. Ken answered your question about as well as anyone can. Please take a couple of minutes and go to our introductions forum and tell us a little about yourself and your interest in astronomy.
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    Default Re: Question regarding the end of the universe

    Here's three things to consider:

    1)Cosmology starts with the assumption that the laws of physics apply everywhere. Our observations are consistent with a universe that is the same on average everywhere, on average it looks the same in all directions. So the probability is going to be the same everywhere. There are no "special places".

    2)The universe also looks as if it is infinite in extent even though we can see only a finite part of it. Perhaps the idea of a "last star" to flicker out is not an idea that could be realized. Let's say "all the stars go out". Well there is still going to be some trace gas and dust to condense into a new star. Dead stars might collide and release materials so a new star could form too. It may be that the the very idea of a "last star", while dramatic, has no physics to support it.

    3)We understand very little of what makes up the universe, we only understand the 5% that is normal matter. The dark matter and dark energy that makes up the 95% we only have vague general ideas about. If there is a "Big Rip" then there will be no heat death, but a very different next stage of development.

    Big Rip - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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    Default Re: Question regarding the end of the universe

    not_Fritz_Argelander,

    I just wanted to note that I enjoy reading your responses and appreciate that you spend as much time as you do posting in this forum. I'd get one hell of a kick out of chatting with you over a couple of beers.

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    Default Re: Question regarding the end of the universe

    Quote Originally Posted by bvbull200 View Post
    not_Fritz_Argelander,

    I just wanted to note that I enjoy reading your responses and appreciate that you spend as much time as you do posting in this forum. I'd get one hell of a kick out of chatting with you over a couple of beers.
    I like hoppy IPAs.
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    Default Re: Question regarding the end of the universe

    Quote Originally Posted by not_Fritz_Argelander View Post
    Here's three things to consider:

    1)Cosmology starts with the assumption that the laws of physics apply everywhere. Our observations are consistent with a universe that is the same on average everywhere, on average it looks the same in all directions. So the probability is going to be the same everywhere. There are no "special places".

    2)The universe also looks as if it is infinite in extent even though we can see only a finite part of it. Perhaps the idea of a "last star" to flicker out is not an idea that could be realized. Let's say "all the stars go out". Well there is still going to be some trace gas and dust to condense into a new star. Dead stars might collide and release materials so a new star could form too. It may be that the the very idea of a "last star", while dramatic, has no physics to support it.

    3)We understand very little of what makes up the universe, we only understand the 5% that is normal matter. The dark matter and dark energy that makes up the 95% we only have vague general ideas about. If there is a "Big Rip" then there will be no heat death, but a very different next stage of development.

    Big Rip - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    that sounds interesting. I appreciate ur input.

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    Default Re: Question regarding the end of the universe

    Quote Originally Posted by jimbobwales View Post
    that sounds interesting. I appreciate ur input.
    You're welcome. Just an added caution.... the Big Rip scenario is speculative. I would be very surprised if Dark Energy behaved that way, but can't rule it out yet. Still I would bet a case of beer (against any one individual, but not against the whole board ) that w >= -1 and there is no Big Rip.

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    Default Re: Question regarding the end of the universe

    Phantom w's and non-phantom w's. Now MY head hurts.
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    Default Re: Question regarding the end of the universe

    Quote Originally Posted by bladekeeper View Post
    Phantom w's and non-phantom w's. Now MY head hurts.
    Well for w < -1 the negative pressure of Dark Energy is so much stronger than the attraction of the mass equivalent of Dark Energy that there is a Rip. Otherwise the negative pressure is insufficient for a Rip to happen.

    If that doesn't help the headache please take your pain reliever of choice or drink more beer.

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