The study of the universe’s expansion rate has been a topic that has fascinated scientists and astronomers for a very long time. Since the initial studies conducted in the 1920s by astronomers Edwin P. Hubble and Georges Lemaitre to the discovery of ‘dark energy’ towards the end of the 1990s, the advancement in the field has been slow but steady. However, the Hubble Space Telescope has been providing a huge amount of data for the scientists to study and NASA believes that something strange is happening in the universe considering how fast it is expanding.
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According to NASA, the data provided by the Hubble Space Telescope shows that the rate of expansion has become much quicker in comparison to the expected rate. But NASA was not able to provide a concrete reason behind the discrepancy and went on to call it “something weird”.
“You are getting the most precise measure of the expansion rate for the universe from the gold standard of telescopes and cosmic mile markers,” said Adam Riess of the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) and the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, in a statement.
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Riess is currently leading a team of scientists who have published a paper regarding the data collected from the Hubble Space Telescope and it was seen that other galaxies are moving away quite fast from ours – showing a clear increase in the rate at which the universe is expanding .
The Hubble telescope has been gathering data for the last 30 years and it shows that although it was predicted that the rate of expansion will be 67.5 kilometers per second per megaparsec with a margin of error of 0.5, the current rate of expansion is somewhere around 73 .
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