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What is the Fate of the Universe?

For most of recorded history, the answer was simple: The universe has always existed and always will. Few people challenged the dogma or even suspected it might not be true.

RELATED TOPICS: GREATEST MYSTERIES | COSMOLOGY
DistantSupernovae

DISTANT SUPERNOVAE. Dark energy rules the cosmos. Each left panel shows a host galaxy, while the matching right panel reveals a fainter-than-expected supernova in that galaxy.

NASA/A. Riess (STScI)

Although the answer to this ancient question is still unknown, there are strong observational hints toward a clear outcome. And, that, in and of itself, would have surprised most astronomers who thought about the subject during the past 85 years.

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