What would the Big Crunch look like to an observer on Earth? (Advanced)

I was wondering what the "Big Crunch" would look like to an observer here on Earth???

Today we know that the Universe will go on expanding forever, however if it were substantially denser the expansion would one day be reversed, and the universe would start contracting. This contraction back down to a point is what is referred to as "The Big Crunch".

What would the contraction look like to an observer on a hypothetical planet somewhere in the universe (I won't use "Earth", as it might not even be around anymore at this hypothetical time in the future)? For most of the contraction, the only thing that the observer would notice is that most galaxies would have blueshifts instead of redshifts (most galaxies would be moving towards the observer). The daily life of the observer would not be affected in the slightest. But as the present-day observable universe started to get really small, the observer would most likely see some of the things that happened in the early universe happen in reverse. Most notably, the temperature of the universe would eventually get so high that you could no longer have stable atoms, in which case the hypothetical observer wouldn't be able to hold themself together!

Last updated by Mike jones Feb. 10th 2016

About the Author

Christopher Springob

Christopher Springob

Chris studies the large scale structure of the universe using the peculiar velocities of galaxies.  He got his PhD from Cornell in 2005, and is now a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Western Australia.

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