Did Donna Noble Just Turn Right? Study Shows The Universe Is Dying, The Darkness is Coming

Stars are dying out quicker than they are being born, meaning that the universe is dying in a process that is known as universal dimming. For avid fans of Doctor Who, this is horrifying news, as it means that Donna Noble failed to “Turn Left” and instead chose to turn right at that fated intersection, and now the stars are going out because The Doctor is dead, and the darkness is coming.

An International Collaboration

Astronomers from all over the world worked together to make the observations that led to their conclusion that the universe is dying. The study was conducted as part of the Galaxy and Mass Assembly (GAMA) survey, the largest survey of its type to have ever taken place. The scientists in the survey measured 221,373 galaxies to reach this discovery.

Using a wide array of powerful telescopes from all over the world, in places like the United States, Australia, and Europe, scientists from the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) were able to come to the conclusion that the stars that we see today are shining much less brighter than they were 2 billion years ago. They further concluded that the stars in the night sky will continue on this trend until eventually the night sky will no longer twinkle so brightly and be so full of stars.

The Universe is Dying

The astronomers taking part in GAMA surveyed cubes of space spanning one million light years per side. They looked at photos of 21 different wavelengths, from infrared to ultraviolet, in order to measure how much energy each galaxy from each sample was putting out. This research also helped astronomers learn more about how different galaxies form.

People have known since the 1990s that the universe has been experiencing universal dimming, but it wasn’t until this study was released that the true scale of the dimming was understood across all wavelengths. Based on this data, the fact that the universe is dying has become a much more concrete notion.

Professor Simon Driver, of the University of Western Australia, who leads the GAMA team of scientists, said, “The Universe has basically sat down on the sofa, pulled up a blanket, and is about to nod off for an eternal doze.”

We Are Doomed, But There is Still Time

The scientists who conducted the study also said, however, that there is no real reason to start panicking about the future of your children or grandchildren, because although the universe is dying, it is a process that will span at least a few billion years.

Yes, the stars are going out and the darkness is eventually coming, but thankfully, it’s not happening as quickly as it happened in the Doctor Who Season 4 episode Turn Left. In that episode, the stars were going out left and right, and people in this day and age witnessed a black night sky above their heads, all because Donna Noble chose to turn right instead of left. The universe is dying, but there is still time for The Doctor to come save us all, something that all Doctor Who fans can take comfort in.

Space is full of mystery: the universe is dying and stars are dimming. Learn more about space with this kit: