A Journey to the End of the Universe
Could humans ever travel to other galaxies within their lifetime? The immense scale of the Universe seems to prohibit such voyages, after all the nearest galaxy is so far away that it takes light itself - the fastest thing in the Universe - 2.5 million years to complete the trip. Remarkably, there is a trick that might allow humans to accomplish this feat - join us today as we step onboard the constantly accelerating spaceship!

Written and presented by Professor David Kipping.

You can now support our research program and the Cool Worlds Lab at Columbia University: www.coolworldslab.com/support

0:00 - Prologue
2:57 - A Journey to Alpha Centauri
11:27 - Returning from Distant Shores
21:12 - Onward to the End

Further reading and resources:

► Lee, J. & Cleaver, G., 2015, "The Relativistic Blackbody Spectrum in Inertial and Non-Inertial Reference Frames": arxiv.org/abs/1507.06663
► Yurtsever, U. & Wilkinson, S. 2015, "Limits and Signatures of Relativistic Flight": arxiv.org/abs/1503.05845v3
► Margalef-Bentabol, B., Margalef-Bentabol, J., Cepa, J., 2013, "Evolution of the Cosmological Horizons in a Concordance Universe": arxiv.org/abs/1302.1609
► Columbia University Department of Astronomy: www.astro.columbia.edu
► Cool Worlds Lab website: coolworlds.astro.columbia.edu

Music is largely by Chris Zabriskie ( chriszabriskie.com/ ) and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license ( creativecommons.org/licenses/... ), in order of appearance;
► Cylinder Five ( chriszabriskie.com/cylinders/ )
► Music from Neptune Flux, "The Oceans Continue to Rise chriszabriskie.com/neptuneflux/
► Music from Neptune Flux, "We Were Never Meant to Live Here" chriszabriskie.com/neptuneflux/
► Cylinder Two ( chriszabriskie.com/cylinders/ )
► Cylinder Four ( chriszabriskie.com/cylinders/ )
► Cylinder Eight ( chriszabriskie.com/cylinders/ )
► "It's Always Darkest Before the Dawn" by Hill, licensed through SoundStripe.com
► Cylinder Two ( chriszabriskie.com/cylinders/ )
► "It's Always Darkest Before the Dawn" by Hill, licensed through SoundStripe.com

Video materials used:

► Intro/outro video by ESO/Mark Swinbank, Institute for Computational Cosmology, Durham University, "Flying through the MUSE view of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field": www.eso.org/public/usa/videos...
► Voyager 2 footage courtesy NASA JPL: www.jpl.nasa.gov/video/detail...
► Nautilus X videos from f r a g o m a t i k: fibill.info/nick/videot/zn-ak32XdHWVqH8 and fibill.info/nick/videot/lmSAqonaXZ2TeGY
► Ship passing Moon & Mars taken from "Beer from Mars" by MoonMan Pictures: www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKa9b...
► "A Journey to Alpha Centauri" video by ESO./L. Calçada/Nick Risinger (skysurvey.org): www.eso.org/public/usa/videos...
► Relativistic travel through a lattice by Ute Kraus: www.spacetimetravel.org/beweg...
► Earth time lapse footage taken onboard the International Space Station by NASA's Earth Science & Remote Sensing Unit
► Fly-through space footage from Space.com: fibill.info/nick/videot/1HemiWeqm6R_nKE
► "A Flight Through the Universe", by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, Miguel Aragon & Alex Szalay (Johns Hopkins), Mark Subbarao (Adler Planetarium): www.sdss3.org/press/dr9.php
► Galaxy spinning animation by spacetelescope.org: fibill.info/nick/videot/vJinqHuWf4xid4M
► Expanding universe animation by EposChronicles: www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xTzM...

Films clips used:
► Agora (2009)
► Star Trek (1966 - 1969)
► Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)
► Interstellar (2014)
► The Expanse (2015 - present)
► 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
► The Martian (2015)
► Passengers (2016)
► Alien (1979)
► Flame over India (1959)
► Star Trek: First Contact (1996)
► Prometheus (2012)
► Alien: Covenant (2017)
► Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987 - 1994)
► Planet Earth (2006)
► Elysium (2013)
► Alien: Resurrection (1997)
► Avengers: Endgame (2019)
► What Dreams May Come (1998)

Special thanks to FIbillr Madd End for this fantastic artist's impression of the halo drive: www.bilder-upload.eu/bild-0ba... . Thumbnail image by Hazan: wallhere.com/en/wallpaper/139635 .

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  • Olympian Hydra
    Olympian Hydra

    I find this video very interesting, but a few points are still being debated and a lot is based on theory, which makes me sad, but it will be very interesting to see what has changed since watching this in a few years.

  • Beedoo X
    Beedoo X

    I'll add my comment here to challenge the notion that the space travellers' will age at a different rate to those left on earth. The math is faulty and they'll actually age at the same rate. I'll be back in a few decades to check the outcome...

  • John Ambro
    John Ambro

    When traveling towards these galaxies are we not chasing time itself, what we see is millions to billions of years ago. Therefore how could we visit a destination when we are so far behind in time.? (just saying)

  • Carl Jackson
    Carl Jackson

    Such beautiful words at the end of this video. Thank you.

  • Steve Appy
    Steve Appy

    WOW .. I love this. I'm only 5 minuets into it, Big thanks !!

  • Simple

    Best ending... You make me think about everything

  • southpakrules

    Imagine a spaceship full of dinosaurs arriving tomorrow, saying "we left for a space voyage in a 1 g acceleration spaceship and we were travelling till the other end of the galaxy and back for 100.000.000 earth years. Who are you ? Whatever happened to us?".

  • Bum Booz
    Bum Booz

    The problem with traveling in the speed of light is that we go so fast our spacecraft will be in Alpha Centauri while our souls will still be on Earth.

  • Cabronesse


  • Kollin Musimbo
    Kollin Musimbo

    if you understand the substance, the essence of this video, smallness and tiny-ness of humanity, you can never hate anyone...

  • Dodge

    The ET issue must be exposed via congressional hearings including aerospace/defense contractors. The trustworthiness of our elected officials hinges on this.

  • Don Carmichael
    Don Carmichael

    Rockets are. Primitive so don’t think of going to. other planets by. Them ,

  • Jam Jones
    Jam Jones

    Bullshit nobodys been in space the earth is flat,assuming, imagine?you know shit

  • Ar Bur
    Ar Bur

    I just woke up from spiraling down the YT wormhole and seems like lifetime has passed... maybe I was traveling speed of light?

  • Jac Van
    Jac Van

    damn were so fucking small in comparison...

  • Jack Lee
    Jack Lee

    @28:41 I realized that this video was about the money I’ve earned. Always speeding away from me at the speed of light into the voids, never to return again :(

  • Lb_Ivan

    what if past alien civilizations stopped visiting more frequently due to the universe always being ever expanding, each trip back and fourth would take them much longer making it harder/less worth the voyage to mankind and there crap world. 😅

  • James Ward
    James Ward

    Awesome...can't say anything more.

  • Vladimir Barac
    Vladimir Barac

    The problem with the space traveling is the speed of light. But when u think about it light defines out existence and existence of everything. Surpassing the speed of light would mean that the spacecraft would simply stop to exist and possibly the time would go in reverse. Going nearly the speed of life and the earth would cease to exist at the time the spacecraft would return but going above the speed of light at some limit spacecraft would return where even has not been formed. Of course this is just my thoughts. I am probably very wrong.

  • Plasticide

    Your video made me travel the unknown space like never before

  • Joshua David Romero
    Joshua David Romero

    It deeply saddens me that we won't be alive to see the future of the universe, but we are also lucky to be alive at this time where we can actually observe the mystery of the universe, live the life we have.

  • Reinhold Bobo
    Reinhold Bobo

    Another perfect presentation of a complex topic. Thank you.

  • Nouraiz Shakoor
    Nouraiz Shakoor

    Never seen such video. Perfectly explained the vastness of universe.

  • userspace

    You look surprisingly good for an atheist! The Bible is real.

  • Big Dog
    Big Dog

    Hey I got a great idea! Let's put Biden on one of these space flights.🚀

  • Deogratius Gitarda
    Deogratius Gitarda

    This guy looks and sounds like Jamie Lannister...

  • Ddw1212@gmail.com Walton
    Ddw1212@gmail.com Walton

    Does anything exist outside an individual mine? As far as that goes does the mine exist? There is no guarantee just imagination whatever that is. So enjoy the ride until you get off you may not even know what it is on the other side neither.

  • tom lachance
    tom lachance

    I absolutely love your videos. They really have an impact. Not on just understanding or speculation, but on life as we live it.

  • maop hantu laot kasmil
    maop hantu laot kasmil

    Km22 2025

  • Kemal Knight
    Kemal Knight

    Ah yes, instant existential crisis. Served with melodious voice.

  • Tommy T.
    Tommy T.

    Excellent video, but there is one thing faster than the speed of light, and that's the speed of darkness. Let us find that equation.

  • Brian M
    Brian M

    The 'cost ' would not matter ..your trip would be 1 way with zero percent chance you would return to home planet

  • King Laventi
    King Laventi

    2 questions: shouldn't the ship be able to "catch up" if it is also apart of the expansion? Isn't it possible the destination doesn't even exist anymore?

  • Wes Conkle
    Wes Conkle

    this was incredible

  • Glenn Watson
    Glenn Watson

    So Star Trek was all bullshit?

  • Ispeakhilarious

    This was a 30 mins video? I thought only 5 minutes

  • kroddster5354

    Lost me at the very second sentence. Did he say punctuated by 76 billion stars? That's just a small galaxy's worth. 76 billion galaxies maybe?

  • Abarico, Bart Eren Josh L.
    Abarico, Bart Eren Josh L.

    It's just sad that our universe is expanding

  • Barak Pinhas
    Barak Pinhas

    A better deign might be a catapult at earth to give initial speed and a catapult at target destination to stop the vessel.

  • HAID3N Official
    HAID3N Official

    Imagine you're immortal and when reaching the void, you discover that you won't be able to die and for some reasons you can't even take your own life, it just doesn't work....

  • HAID3N Official
    HAID3N Official

    It seems that the best way to travel is onboard of a spaceship that can contain all of us humans and animals and plants, so we'll never be alone. No one s gonna miss the sun, the moon, as long as we have each other.

  • HAID3N Official
    HAID3N Official

    What makes this video very dreamy is also the subtle line of soft pads in the background...

  • HAID3N Official
    HAID3N Official

    Crew come back to Earth and 6 centuries have passed... the crew thinks they will be greeted and celebrated but.... people on Earth forgot about the crew because as intergalactic travel became the norm hundreds of years ago it then got faster, better, more comfortable... the crew look at themselves thinking... what a massive waste of time...

  • NATHAN Umphreys
    NATHAN Umphreys

    That lisp tho....

  • Scooby Scrappy
    Scooby Scrappy

    That was a beautiful video 🥰

  • YouTube Connolly family
    YouTube Connolly family

    If we are really alone in the galaxy then it sure is a big waste of space out their

  • E. McGuire
    E. McGuire

    Just superb, Dr. Kipping. This is perhaps the best video I've seen on FIbill and joins the others ones just as excellent that you have given us. I can't imagine being a high school or grad student again and having this kind of extraordinary material available. Thank you!

  • Andrew Wood
    Andrew Wood

    Amazing, thank you

  • Peter Bonney
    Peter Bonney

    Build me a dream...what can I make...a mirror of my self...a future..a purpose

  • Peter Bonney
    Peter Bonney

    Existence is imagination...😊...I am life..i think life..what is life..

  • Peter Bonney
    Peter Bonney

    Eye open the door...and walk into pictures...sayll.in out to see

  • Peter Bonney
    Peter Bonney

    A tall ship and a star to steer by...all I need is a reason...

  • Peter Bonney
    Peter Bonney

    Speed of thourghts..temporal mind travel...let's regress through time...but stay in the sight..

  • Peter Bonney
    Peter Bonney

    My god is full of stars...open those eyelids pal...your dreaming

  • Art Donovan
    Art Donovan

    Dear Dr. Kipping, I've lost track of how many times I've watched this video since you first published it. And Thank You for that fine, heartening epilogue! It was quite necessary. Be well.

  • Pete Urbann
    Pete Urbann

    I would love to be on a Star ship heading out to discover and map space for future generations.

  • Puja Biswas
    Puja Biswas

    i was muted throughout the whole video. felt like i was traveling through space,time and cosmic darkness. enjoyed it so much. thank you.

  • George Johnson
    George Johnson

    Is it just me or is his facial features keep like I don't know....fucking moving around and shit unnaturally, like the fabric of space time is extraordinarily heavy around his jawline and brow?

  • WICK3D

    15:45 "As if the ship has now finally caught the gays" Ah yes, the cosmic rainbow, the center of all homosexual energy🕵

  • its jesusin
    its jesusin

    big bang lol try GOD

    • its jesusin
      its jesusin

      @Mike u think its all a coincidence lol all you guys are delusional

    • Mike


  • thomas darby
    thomas darby

    everyone reading this I have an importing message that will change your day . . . . . GO FUCK YOUR SELF

  • Cick nobb
    Cick nobb

    beautiful and sad. Thank you for this.

  • P B
    P B

    Should we even bother trying to wrap are heads round the universe??

  • Kun Slavov
    Kun Slavov

    too much poetry. Accelerating to 6% of the speed of light is theoretically possible, but you never said if its even theoretically possible to decrease this speed. Its not. So this video is nothing more (or less) then poetry ))

  • Mary Shunkwiler
    Mary Shunkwiler

    Dwight broussard

  • T Steele
    T Steele

    Hands down the very best narration/explanation of this topic that I have ever heard. Thank you for sharing!

  • A Swedish Kid
    A Swedish Kid

    This made me want to invent this ever accelerating ship, since it also could act as a time machine

  • Yevon1

    Nathan Drake is realy smart :)

  • Rhiannon Williams
    Rhiannon Williams

    Very nice, particularly iof you watch along with Melodysheep's mind blowing video.

  • Light Yagami
    Light Yagami

    How fast is the crew going? At some point he says you can't go beyond speed of light, and later the crew has passed the 100 000 light years milestone and only 60 years have passed for them , how is that possible??

  • 123karakoc

    So deeply sad and humbling, but beautifully narrated.

  • jestice john
    jestice john

    sorry but nothing happens at the speed of light.....space knows nothing about time.....we invented time so we could meet at noon for lunch....you dont go forward in time you dont go back....you dont see grandma.....the speed of light is a speed and thats all.....sorry gang.....mars doesnt know its 2 in the afternoon....by space standards light speed is not all that fast....hi grandma.

  • Itsjackinth3hat

    I almost cry when i think about coming back to Earth to have your kid be like 30 years older than you. I cant wrap my head around it🥺😭

  • pakhpakh

    Never understood this phenomena that you passed 22 years in far space, but 6 centuries would have passed here on earth at your return. What does it mean, time dilation, time stretch or time travel? The wrist watch in your hand shows the exact same as the watch in anybody's hand on earth.

  • Mark Stach
    Mark Stach

    Mind blown!

  • Rosie Ainslie
    Rosie Ainslie

    No proof of expanding universe. But this was fascinating. If the universe were expanding galaxies would NOT collide

  • Mongmong Sangtam
    Mongmong Sangtam

    Funny imagination but somewhat interesting

  • Bob Flush
    Bob Flush

    If it is true about the aliens.., I'm very curious about their technique and survival skills..

  • H B
    H B

    A journey beyond our imaginations.

  • DaBossk

    This shits too complicated I give up

  • Clint Perry
    Clint Perry

    Would you mind repeating that.

  • Alby LongballBoarder
    Alby LongballBoarder

    I really enjoy NOVA and How the Universe Works content. This FIbill by Cool Worlds is a broadcast quality production and narration! Thank you, really enjoyed the content and very eye opening. LIKE and SUBSCRIBED!

  • Carlo Luna
    Carlo Luna

    This guy is pretty boring

  • Mrigendra Chaubey
    Mrigendra Chaubey

    Feeling sad that I have watched it a long time ago and I still remember everything told in the video.

  • Spörde Spyrdenstein
    Spörde Spyrdenstein

    Playing Elite Dangerous while listening to this dark tale

  • AsimA NisaR
    AsimA NisaR

    Nicely pin-pointed .. !!

  • james porter
    james porter

    Instead of spending Money on Space Travel, why don't we make sure our own Planet is in order First? Like eradicating Wars, Hunger and make every Country is Water Plentiful? Then Crops to feed the World will grow. Then Hunger will be eradicated for ever. I will probably get a load of dislikes ! but its how I feel. Peace and Love to you all!

  • am 1k98
    am 1k98

    25:00 pls tell the background music name.. that ambient track is very good

  • napadaan lang
    napadaan lang

    It would be easy to travel using wormholes. -aliens

  • Jlatt031

    blew my mind!!!!

  • Carlos Villaseñor
    Carlos Villaseñor

    Jesus Christ is King and Lord🤴🏽👑

  • CK

    Think I'm in love

  • Jasmina

    wow... i got scared at one point

  • lost

    Nessa can't even take an actual picture of the Earth. They have to photoshop one which is fake. They can't even measure the Earth cuz the Bible says it's immiserable, so how in the world do you expect them to get to the other side of the universe. Why they would hit the dome and blow all the pieces.

  • Lewis Evans
    Lewis Evans

    I wish I could do that to live for longer

  • Lewis Evans
    Lewis Evans

    5:21 what movie is that?

  • Roshan Pillay
    Roshan Pillay

    never show your face while speaking of the cosmos, trust me.

  • Frendad Godof
    Frendad Godof

    The earth and indeed the entire cosmos was made for a reason and will indeed fulfill that ultimate reason. The earth can became vintage but it will not die.

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