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New Hubble constant measurement adds to the mystery of the universe’s expansion rate



New Hubble constant measurement adds to the mystery of the universe’s expansion rate

Recently, astronomers have made a new measurement of how fast the universe is expanding. This time they have used an entirely different kind of star than what they used before. The revised measurement is known to come from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. It falls in the center of a hotly debated question in astrophysics that may lead to a new interpretation of the universe’s fundamental properties.

For almost a century, scientists knew that the universe is expanding. This means the distance between galaxies across the entire universe is becoming vaster every second. But the question is how fast space is stretching, a value called the Hubble constant has remained elusive.

Wendy Freedman and her colleagues from the University of Chicago now have a new measurement for the rate of expansion in the modern universe. It suggests that the distance between different galaxies is stretching faster than scientists could expect. Based on one of Freedman’s several studies, it has been found that the modern expansion measurements and predictions are based on the universe as it was more than 13 billion years ago. It was measured by the European Space Agency’s Planck satellite.

More research points to a discrepancy between the observations and predictions. Scientists are considering whether they may need to invent a new model for the underlying physics of the universe in order to explain it better.

Freedman said:

“The Hubble constant is the cosmological parameter that sets the absolute scale, size, and age of the universe; it is one of the most direct ways we have of quantifying how the universe evolves.” Freedman also added, “The discrepancy we saw before has not gone away, but this new evidence suggests that the jury is still out on whether there is an immediate and compelling reason to believe that there is something fundamentally flawed in our current model of the universe.”

Freedman and her team announced in a new paper publication, Astrophysical Journal that the new measurement of the Hubble constant is using a kind of star known as the red giant.



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