Cosmic Doomsday Scenario: Phantom energy would trigger the Big Rip

11:00am, March 5, 2003

Cosmologists have long speculated about the fate of the universe. Will it expand forever or collapse in a Big Crunch? In the latest model, published online last week, the universe instead ends with a Big Rip–every galaxy, star, planet, molecule, and atom torn asunder–21 billion years from now.

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