Despite its already impressive age, the universe continues to expand at a fast pace. At one point, the expansion process will stop due to the massive distance that has been covered, and the processes which facilitate the appearance of heat and light will not be possible.
A curious researcher decided to conduct a theoretical study by with the help of available information and theorized what would happen when the death of the universe could be reached. The end of the universe will be marked by the explosion of one last supernova, a black dwarf one.
Out with a fizzle
Black dwarf stars will not release a bright light or a noticeable amount of heat, but the fusion process that takes place inside will reach a critical point in time, triggering a large scale supernova.
Stars whose mass is equal to ten times the mass of the Sun or lower lack the gravity or density that are needed to generate iron within their cores. It is thought with the element facilitating the appearance of supernova events. In time white dwarfs will cool down, becoming cooler as they transform into black dwarfs.
It won’t happen soon
It is estimated that only black dwarfs with a mass that is up to 1.4 times the mass of the Sun will reach the conditions required for a supernova. More than 99% of stars will remain as black dwarfs forever.
However, this event is so distant in the future that it is likely that no one will be alive to see it. At that point in time, galaxies will be dispersed, black holes will vanish, and the distance between objects will be so great that the black supernova explosion will take place without witnesses.
By that point in time it is expected that all life would vanish, but that remains to be seen.