End of the Universe Show

Astronomers peering into the depths of the Universe may be on the brink of turning old ideas about the Big Bang on their head. Since the Big Bang flung the stuff of the Universe in every direction 14 billion years ago, the consensus was that everything was slowly winding down. Gravity pulling back on distant galaxies was supposed to be bringing cosmic expansion to a slow halt. It could even go into reverse and head for a Big Crunch at the end of time. But now two teams of astronomers studying exploding stars, supernova, in the dark recesses of the night sky seem to have discovered the opposite - that something is starting to drive the galaxies apart even faster. Frontiers joins one team, lead by Dr Brian Schmidt, at a mountaintop telescope in the Andes as they attempt to confirm this discovery. It they're right it could mean eventually our Galaxy will be lost in infinite darkness as the rest of the Universe accelerates eternally out of view.

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30 minutes

Last on

Wed 27 Jan 1999 21:00

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