The shape of the universe is unknown, especially since no one can observe it from the outside. The best researchers can do is model the most likely scenario. The idea of the shape of the universe comes from the theory of General Relativity, which says mass warps space and objects moving through space have curved paths. With all the planets, stars, and other objects in the universe, the combined force of mass warps and most likely gives the universe a shape and that shape is mostly defined by its density.
The simplest shape is simply a flat universe with no curvature. The universe would take this shape if it has the exact amount of mass to stop the universe expanding after an infinite time. It would have no bounds and expand forever, slowing but never stopping. If the universe contains more mass than the critical amount, the expansion would stop and the universe would have a spherical shape. Eventually, the mass would cause the universe to collapse in on itself. If the universe contains less mass than the critical amount, it would expand forever in a saddle-like shape with negative curvature. Researchers studying current cosmological observations have determined that the universe has an accelerating rate of expansion that is balanced by dark matter, meaning the universe is nearly flat with a slight curve. However, these predictions are based on the observable universe, which might not be telling us the whole story.
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