End: the termination of a temporal process or physical object. The end itself is to be regarded as a part of the object or process. An object or process with no end does not have to be ►infinite, but it will certainly be ►unbounded.
1) The physical end of the world according to the medieval worldview. The flat disc of the world is surrounded by ocean and has four ends corresponding to the four directions. Prior to the discovery of America, the world's Western end was said to be located at Cape Finisterre (from Latin finis, "End", and terra, "earth") near Santiago de Compostela in Galicia. This was at the same time the final destination for pilgrims on the Way of St. James (the Camino de Santiago).
2) The temporal end of the world according to various religions. Almost every religion has a prognosis concerning the end of the world, although the prognoses differ:
3) The temporal end of the world according to the ►scientific worldview. You will find more details about the eventual end of the universe under ►Universe. The Earth itself, however, will have ceased to exist long before the universe does.
The End of the Solar System
At present, the sun's energy derives from a nuclear process in which hydrogen atoms are fused and thereby turned into helium atoms. As a result, the ratio of helium to hydrogen in the sun is constantly increasing. Since helium atoms are heavier than hydrogen ones, the sun's core gradually increases in density. This in turn leads to a continuous increase of brightness and power density in the sun's radiation.
In about 500 million years the temperature of the Earth's surface will have exceeded 100 degrees Celsius (c. 212 F) — one global warming that will not have been caused by us. The oceans will boil over and evaporate. All life will be extinguished, with the possible exception of a few types of anaerobic bacteria that live in depths of several kilometres in rock inclusions; they may continue to flourish even in extreme pressures and temperatures. But even these will have ceased to exist when the sun swells up to a red giant star in about 6 billion years. At that point, the sun will swallow up the nearby planets Mercury and Venus. The Earth will be orbiting as a glowing fireball closely along the sun's outer margins. At the end of its growth, the sun will eject a large part of its matter and shrivel up into a white dwarf, a tiny and extremely dense star roughly the size of the Earth. This dwarf will continue to radiate light for another few billion years, gradually cooling off until it has become a dark star — the cold and radiationless remnant of a sun.