National Geographic: Death Of The Universe
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In the farthest reaches of space, a volatile battle is taking place between two forces so great, they may eventually destroy the very universe itself. Known as Dark Matter and Dark Energy, these opposing forces have the capacity to rip apart the universe atom-by-atom. While scientists have previously theorised about a "Big Crunch" where the universe retracts back to its original size, the discovery of Dark Matter and Dark Energy has placed that hypothesis on the backburner. Some astronomers now believe that if Dark Matter offsets Dark Energy then as the universe slowly expands, stars will gradually fade, running out of fuel and leading to a dark, cold and lifeless universe. Others hypothesise a much more violent end where Dark Energy continues to expand the universe at a greater and greater speed. Stronger than gravity, Dark Energy would pull apart everything down to the fundamental particles -- the universe's very fibres. While the universe's end may be 50 billion years away, great leaps in science will continue to alter how we believe the universe was formed -- and how it will end.
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