Photo/IllutrationClusters of galaxies captured by the Subaru telescope (Provided by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan)

The world may seem like it’s falling to pieces, but the universe itself will not be ripped apart for at least 140 billion years, according to an international research team.

The researchers, including scientists from the University of Tokyo and the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, surveyed about 10 million galaxies and the effects of dark energy to reach their conclusion.

According to a widely held theory, the universe has been expanding since its creation 13.8 billion years from the Big Bang.

Scientists have largely agreed that the expansion is being accelerated by mysterious dark energy and dark matter that make up 95 percent of the universe.

Under the Big Rip theory, the universe will eventually be overwhelmed by the increase in dark energy and the rapid expansion, resulting in everything, from stars to atoms, to be ripped apart.

The team conducted observations of 10 million galaxies through the Hyper Suprime-Cam, a super-high resolution camera specially developed for the Subaru telescope in Hawaii.

The team also studied the galaxies’ gravitational lensing effect, the refraction of distant light caused by the gravity of a galaxy or dark matter.

After analyzing the data, the researchers concluded that earlier estimates had overstated the rate of increase in dark energy.

Therefore, the universe will be safe for about 140 billion years, about 10 times its current age, they said.

“We are hoping to study many more galaxies and find out what will happen when the universe ends,” said Chiaki Hikage, a project assistant professor of cosmology at the Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe within the University of Tokyo.

A paper on the finding was published on, an online archive of scientific papers, on Sept. 26.