The Hubble Space Telescope has reached a new milestone in its work of discovering how fast the universe is expanding, and it supports the idea that something strange is going on in our universe, NASA says.
In recent years, astronomers have used telescopes like the Hubble to understand exactly how fast our universe is expanding.
But as these measurements became more accurate, they also showed something strange. There is a major difference between the rate of expansion of the universe around us, compared to observations made immediately after the Big Bang.
Scientists cannot explain this contradiction. But it does suggest that “something strange” is happening in our universe, which could be the result of new, unknown physics, says NASA.
For the past 30 years, Hubble has been collecting information about a set of “feature markers” in space and time that can be used to track the rate of expansion of the universe as it recedes from us.
NASA announced that it has now calibrated more than 40 markers, allowing for greater accuracy than before.
“You get the most accurate measurement of the expansion rate of the universe from standard telescopes and cosmic landmarks,” said Nobel laureate Adam Rees of the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) and Johns Hopkins University. in the current situation.
He is the leader of a team of scientists who have published a new research paper detailing the Hubble Space Telescope’s most important and latest upgrade, which iterated with the previous set of feature markers and reanalyzed existing data.
The search for an accurate measure of how fast space is expanding came when American astronomer Edwin Hubble said that galaxies outside our galaxies appear to be moving away from us, and their speed increases as they move away from us. Scientists have been seeking a better understanding of this expansion ever since.
(Both the expansion rate and the space telescope it was looking at are called Hubble, in honor of the astronomers’ work.)
However, when the space telescope began collecting information about the expansion of the universe, it turned out to be faster than the models expected. Astronomers expect it should be about 67.5 kilometers per second per megaparsec, with an error range of ±0.5, but observations show it to be about 73.
There is only a one in a million chance that astronomers got it wrong. Instead, this suggests that the evolution and expansion of the universe is more complex than we thought, and that there is more to learn about how the universe has changed.
Scientists hope to delve into this difficulty with the new James Webb Space Telescope, which was recently launched into space and will soon send out its first observations. This should allow them to see new landmarks farther and with better accuracy.