A team of astronomers have claimed that the energy generated in the Universe is slowly fading away.
Simon Driver of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research said that they used as many space and ground-based telescopes they could get their hands on to measure the energy output of over 200,000 galaxies across as broad a wavelength range as possible, and discovered that the energy was only half of what it was 2 billion years ago.
The survey data measured each galaxy at 21 wavelengths from the ultraviolet to the far infrared and would help scientists understand how different types of galaxies form.
Driver said that most of the energy sloshing around was created in the aftermath of the Big Bang, but additional energy was constantly being released by stars as they fused elements like hydrogen and helium together.
He added that this newly released energy was either absorbed by dust as it traveled through the host galaxy, or escapes into intergalactic space and traveled until it hits something such as another star, planet, or very occasionally a telescope mirror.
This work showed that it was happening across all wavelengths from the ultraviolet to the infrared, representing the most comprehensive assessment of the energy output of the nearby Universe.
Driver explained that the Universe had basically plonked itself down on the sofa, pulled up a blanket and was about to nod off for an eternal doze.
The study is published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.