“The last stars will die out 120 trillion years from now (at most) followed by 10^106 years of just black holes.
Condensed, that’s like the universe starting with 1 second of stars and then a billion billion billion billion billion billion billion years of just black holes.
Stars are basically the immediate after-effects of the Big Bang. A one-second sizzle of brightness before settling into an essentially endless era of darkness.
We live in that one bright second.”
— Tim Urban (@waitbutwhy)
When we think of our infinitesimal smallness in this context, in relation to the stars and the eventual endless darkness of the universe, we might feel a bit overwhelmed by it. We might feel existence itself is pointless in the vast emptiness to follow… this. Then again, we might celebrate the spark of time we’ve all collectively lived in—you and me and every human who ever existed or ever will in a brief spark of magnificent light. Doesn’t that feel a bit more extraordinary?
If infinity is endless darkness, and we aren’t currently residing in said infinity just yet, we ought to settle into the moment and savor it. We think we’ll live forever. Well, forever is somewhere beyond that 120 trillion years, isn’t it? Forever is folly. The only thing that matters is this instant.
Shall we sparkle?