Published: Sun, April 28, 2019
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New study says universe expanding faster and is younger

New study says universe expanding faster and is younger

The Universe is expanding nine per cent faster today than it did in its initial days, new data from Hubble has indicated. "This disparity could not plausibly occur by chance".

Scientist Adam Riess has stated that the mismatch has been growing and has now reached the point where it's "really impossible" to dismiss as a fluke.

To make the discovery, the team analysed light from 70 stars in our neighbouring galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud, with a new method that allowed for capturing quick images of these stars.

Using the DASH method, NASA scientists are able to turn the Hubble Telescope into something resembling a point-and-click camera, which lets them "observe a dozen Cepheids in the same amount of time it would normally take to observe just one", according to a press statement.

Readers might remember the team from Johns Hopkins University and the Space Telescope Science Institute, led by Nobel Laureate Adam Riess, came up with the difference past year as the gang worked to refine the Hubble Constant (how fast the universe expands with time) following results from the European Space Agency's (ESA) Planck observatory.

But when astronomers have tried to directly measure how fast the universe is expanding today - a more hard task, because everything is farther apart now - things seem to be moving faster than those calculations would predict.

These measurements were combined with other observations made by researchers in Chile, the USA and Europe that included distance measurements to the Large Magellanic Cloud. All the steps involve building a strong "cosmic distance ladder", by starting with measuring accurate distances to nearby galaxies and then moving to galaxies farther and farther away. Instead, as Hubble astronomers continue to "tighten the bolts" on the accuracy of their measurements, the discordant values remain stubbornly at odds. "It's going to break everything.' Now they are saying, 'we actually could do this, '" Riess said.


As for that "something", Riess and his team aren't exactly sure what's leading to the discrepancy.

This latest research by Reiss and team has reduced the uncertainty in their Hubble constant value to an unprecedented 1.9 percent - that is a significant improvement from a previous estimate a year ago which had the uncertainty set at 2.4 percent.

This could rewrite the history of the Universe, which is largely based on our current grasp of physics.

M - The universe is expanding 9% faster than scientists expected, according to a new study. Like many things in life that don't agree, this discrepancy has caused what cosmologists call a "tension" - an oddity that still needs explaining. It's unclear what's driving this surprising acceleration, but many astronomers invoke a mysterious, repulsive force called dark energy. These latest observations show distant objects in space, including galaxies, moving further away from us at a rate of 74 kilometres per second, significantly faster than than the prediction of 67 kilometres (41.6 miles) per second per megaparsec, which were initially forecast from the European Space Agency's Planck satellite. Dark energy may also be the reason for the universe's accelerated expansion today.

The finding marks the latest in the long-running puzzle over the value of the Hubble constant and suggests that new physics may be needed to solve the mystery of the cosmos. An invisible form of matter called dark matter may interact more strongly with normal matter than astronomers previously thought.

Many theories have been made, yet the true explanation remains an enigma.

There are a number of ways to derive the Hubble Constant.

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