The End

Astrophysicists say that now they can finally tell us how the universe will expire--and it's not with a bang!

For those who live in a city or near one, the night sky isn't much to look at--just a few scattered stars in a smoggy, washed-out expanse. In rural Maine, though, or North Dakota, or the desert Southwest, the view is quite different. Even without a telescope, you can see thousands of stars twinkling in shades of blue, red and yellow-white, with the broad Milky Way cutting a ghostly swath from one horizon to the other. No wonder our ancient ancestors peered up into the heavens with awe and reverence; it's easy to imagine gods and mythical heroes inhabiting such a...

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