Life can go on forever There may be hope for life in the long run after all. It was previously thought that the fact that the universe's expansion is accelerating meant that eventually there would not be enough energy available to for life to exist. Even with slower and slower metabolisms, which would be required to reduce energy use, eventually a point would be reached where organisms could no longer get rid of heat and would burn up. New work shows that this isn't necessarily the case, depending on the reason why the expansion is accelerating. That reason is something that's still up in the air.
In the right kind of accelerating universe "life can go on indefinitely", say Katherine Freese of the University of Michigan and William Kinney of Columbia University in New York. We don't know whether ours is the right kind, so the doomsday scenario is still possible, but at least there's hope.
An accelerating universe limits how much energy is available to life because distant regions get too far away to be reached by organisms confined to travelling below the speed of light.
See what sneaks up on you when you stop paying attention to the world for a little while? Endeavour is scheduled to launch tonight at 7:44 Eastern, weather permitting, to deliver a fresh crew to the station and to continue work on the station's robot arm.