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A diagram depicting possible Universe futures
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The Future of the Universe

   What will happen to the Universe? Will it last forever or will it end? That question has been around for a long long time. We may still be unable to answer it. But we are at least able to predict certain possiblities. In our current view of the Universe there are 2 possible futures.

One possiblity is that the Universe will come to an end in the opposite of a Big Bang called The Big Crunch. In this kind of Universe there would be enough material to stop the Universe's expansion. The universe would turn around and collpase again. It might even blow up again in another Big Bang.

The other possibility is that we live in an Eternal Universe that will never come to end. The Universe would just continue to expand forever. It would get very cold and dark. Eventually all stars would die and there would be no more starlight in the Universe.

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The Summer 2010 issue of The Earth Scientist, available in our online store, includes articles on rivers and snow, classroom planetariums, satellites and oceanography, hands-on astronomy, and global warming.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF