The Hubble Space Telescope is one of the most powerful tools the world knows when it comes to interstellar measurements. With more than a billion images of strange and intriguing phenomena happening around the universe at its fingertips, Hubble is currently working on a large-scale task — determining how fast our universe is expanding.
The new findings now indicate that the universe is not expanding at a uniform rate. NASA has suggested that “something strange” is happening in the universe due to a discrepancy in the rate of expansion of the universe as it is around us and observations made after the Big Bang.
The study of how and how fast the universe expanded began decades ago in the 1920s, when measurements by Edwin B. Hubble added that these galaxies were moving at an increasingly irregular rate. The farther away the galaxy is from Earth, the faster it is moving away.
Scientists have since been trying to understand the phenomenon and measure the rate of this expansion. However, with data from Hubble now available, it appears that said expansion is faster than models had expected. Instead of 67.5 (plus or minus 0.5) kilometers per second per megaparsec, the observations note 73 (plus or minus 1) kilometers per second per megaparsec.
Scientists are currently studying the peculiar phenomenon of a set of time and space “tilt markets”. These can be used to track the expansion rate of the universe as distant galaxies continue to move away from us. NASA said Hubble has calibrated more than 40 mile markers since the telescope was launched in 1990.
As new data begins a new assessment of our understanding of the expansion of the universe, scientists are now awaiting data from the new James Webb Space Telescope that will allow a deeper look into matter. “The Webb Space Telescope will extend Hubble’s work by showing signs of cosmic features at greater distances or at a greater resolution than Hubble can see,” NASA said.
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