Measuring the rate of the universe’s expansion is something difficult and scientists have been trying to get it right for years. However, this time they might be closer than they have ever been. NASA recently announced that they manage to get the most accurate measurements.
These measurements were obtained with the help of Gaia, the European Space Agency’s space observatory and NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. With their help, the inaccuracy of the measurements reached 2.2%.
New information gathered
The new data obtained by Hubble and Gaia also refined the constant value of Hubble. The Hubble constant represents the rate of expansion of the universe. According to experts, the new data could lead to new physics.
The distance between the galaxies was gauged by tracking down the stretch of light between them. Then, scientists used to expansion rate of space and they compared it with the distances they got. “It’s as though you predicted how tall a child would become from a growth chart and then found the adult he or she became greatly exceeded the prediction,” Space Telescope Science Institute’s Adam Riess explained.
The prior measurements were taken by the Plank mission of the European Space Agency. The previous predictions showed that the expansion rate of the universe is 41.6 miles per second. Meanwhile, the new measurements obtained thanks to Hubble and Gaia revealed that the actual expansion rate is 45.6 miles per second per megaparsec.
While the new results are quite surprising, this is an important discovery and it will definitely be helpful for scientists in the future, although this might change most of the facts we thought we knew so far. Nonetheless, the newly discovered information might help us finally understand the origin of the universe.
Brad is a former Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, is an award-winning travel, culture, and parenting writer. His writing has appeared in many of the Canada’s most respected and credible publications, including the Toronto Star, CBC News and on the cover of Smithsonian Magazine. A meticulous researcher who’s not afraid to be controversial, he is nationally known as a journalist who opens people’s eyes to the realities behind accepted practices in the care of children. Brad is a contributing journalist to Advocator.ca