AFP/DM

PARIS -How will the universe end - with a bang or with a whimper? According to this video it is very much the latter, but only after all life on Earth has long since disappeared.

Host Joe Hanson takes us on a journey from near future to far future, and ultimately shows us how the universe might come to an end.

In the video called ‘The Far Future of the Universe’ he starts with the postulation that most people on Earth alive today won’t be around in 100 years.

In 100,000 years the position of Earth in the Milky Way will have changed to such a degree that the constellations will look completely different in the night sky. Any time in the next 500,000 years, meanwhile, we can expect Earth to be hit by an asteroid large enough to significantly alter our climate.

In 600 million years photosynthesis becomes impossible as too much carbon dioxide gets trapped in Earth’s crust. A billion years from today all multicellular life, including us, will be eradicated as the sun boils our oceans and destroys our greenery according to Hanson. ‘We wouldn’t want to be around for what comes next anyway,’ he jokes. At the four billion year mark, our Milky Way galaxy collides with the Andromeda galaxy but, although they will interact, most of the galaxies are empty space.

Astronomers said Wednesday they may have found the answer to a cosmic riddle called the magnetar - a star so dense that just a teaspoonful of it would have a mass of about a billion tonnes.

Magnetars are mysterious phenomena whose magnetic fields are millions of times greater than that of the Earth. They also erupt with storms of gamma radiation when their crust undergoes sudden modification, a change called a starquake.

How these oddities are formed, though, has until now been unclear. They are considered to be a type of neutron star, which is one of two potential outcomes when a massive star collapses under its own gravity and rips apart to form a supernova. Of some two dozen known magnetars in the Milky Way, a favoured target for astronomers is called CXOU JI64710.2, located in Westerlund 1, a star cluster about 16,000 light years away in the constellation Ara (The Altar).