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Q: How does the expansion of space affect the things that inhabit that space? Are atoms, people, stars, and everything else getting bigger too?
Rather than things just flying apart (like debris from an explosion), the space between things is actually increasing on its own. After all, the expansion of space is roughly analogous to a stretching rubber sheet. This expansion rate means that distances increase in size by about 0.0000000074% every year. On the scale of the universe (45 billion of light years, give or take) that expansion is important. At some point, in the inconceivably distant future, the expansion of space may be fast enough to overcome the forces that return matter to equilibrium.
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