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Hubble detects changes in universe’s rate of expansion that cannot be explained by current physics 

‘Something strange’ is going on with the way our universe is expanding and cannot be explained with current physics, NASA has revealed.

Data from the Hubble Space Telescope have shown that there is a large discrepancy between the current rate of expansion of the universe compared to the rate just after the Big Bang.

The iconic orbiting observatory has just completed a 30-year marathon of data collection.

With this information, Hubble was able to identify more than 40 space and time ‘milestone markers’ to help scientists more accurately measure the expansion rate of the universe.

However, the more precise these measurements become, the more they indicate that “something strange” is happening, the US space agency said.

‘The cause of this discrepancy remains a mystery. But the Hubble data, which encompasses a variety of cosmic objects that serve as distance markers, supports the idea that something strange is going on, possibly related to new physics,” NASA officials said.

'Something strange' is going on with the way our universe is expanding, NASA has revealed.  New data from the Hubble Space Telescope shows a large discrepancy between the current rate of expansion of the universe compared to just after the Big Bang.

‘Something strange’ is going on with the way our universe is expanding, NASA has revealed. New data from the Hubble Space Telescope shows a large discrepancy between the current rate of expansion of the universe compared to just after the Big Bang.

Hubble discovers a cosmic discrepancy

Hubble measured 42 of the supernova landmarks, more than double the previous sample of cosmic distance markers.

However, when he began to collect information on the expansion of the universe, a discrepancy emerged.

Hubble measurements suggest the rate is about 45 miles (73 kilometers) per megaparsec, but when observations from the deep universe are taken into account, it drops to about 42 miles (67.5 kilometers) per megaparsec.

A megaparsec is a distance measurement equal to one million parsecs, or 3.26 million light-years.

This suggests that the evolution and expansion of the universe is more complicated than we thought, and that there is more to learn about how the universe is changing.

Experts have been studying the expansion rate of the universe since the 1920s using measurements by astronomers Edwin P. Hubble and Georges Lemaître.

When NASA conceived of a large space telescope in the 1970s, one of the main justifications for the expense and extraordinary technical effort was to be able to resolve the Cepheids, stars that periodically brighten and dim, seen within our Milky Way and galaxies. external.

Cepheids have long been the gold standard of cosmic mile markers ever since astronomer Henrietta Swan Leavitt discovered their usefulness in 1912.

To calculate much larger distances, astronomers use exploding stars called Type Ia supernovae.

Combined, these objects built a ‘cosmic distance ladder’ through the universe and are essential for measuring the rate of expansion of the universe, called the ‘Hubble constant’ after Edwin Hubble.

That value is critical to estimating the age of the universe and provides a basic test of our understanding of the universe.

It can be used to predict how fast an astronomical object at a known distance is moving away from Earth, even though the The true value of the Hubble constant is still a matter of debate.

Nearly 25 years ago, astronomers also discovered dark energy, which NASA describes as “a mysterious repulsive force that accelerates the expansion of the universe”.

The new Hubble Space Telescope survey measured 42 of the supernova landmarks, more than double the previous sample of cosmic distance markers.

Hubble (pictured) orbits the Earth at a speed of about 17,000 mph (27,300 kph) in low Earth orbit at about 340 miles in altitude, slightly higher than the International Space Station (ISS)

Hubble (pictured) orbits the Earth at a speed of about 17,000 mph (27,300 kph) in low Earth orbit at about 340 miles in altitude, slightly higher than the International Space Station (ISS)

HUBBLE: KEY DATA

Mission Duration: 32 years and 29 days

Maker: Lockheed Martin and Perkin-Elmere

Dough: 24,490 pounds

Release date: April 24, 1990

launch site: Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

service started: May 20, 1990

first observation: Jupiter (March 1991)

Orbit: 333-336 miles

wavelengths: Near infrared, visible light, ultraviolet

However, when he began to collect information on the expansion of the universe, a discrepancy emerged.

Hubble measurements suggest the rate is about 45 miles (73 kilometers) per megaparsec, but when observations from the deep universe are taken into account, it drops to about 42 miles (67.5 kilometers) per megaparsec.

A megaparsec is a distance measurement equal to one million parsecs, or 3.26 million light-years.

This suggests that the evolution and expansion of the universe is more complicated than we thought, and that there is more to learn about how the universe is changing.

NASA said astronomers don’t know why there are two different values, but suggested we may need to rethink basic physics.

“You’re getting the most accurate measure of the expansion rate of the universe from the gold standard of telescopes and cosmic mile markers,” said Nobel laureate Adam Riess of the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) and the University Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. Maryland.

He leads a scientific collaboration investigating the rate of expansion of the universe called SHOES, which stands for Supernova, H0, for the Dark Energy Equation of State.

“This is what the Hubble Space Telescope was built to do, using the best techniques we know to do it,” Riess said.

“This is probably Hubble’s magnum opus, because it would take another 30 years of Hubble’s life to even double this sample size.”

Riess said that it was better to view the rate of expansion not for its exact value at the time, but for its implications.

“I don’t care what the expansion value is specifically, but I like to use it to learn about the universe,” he added.

NASA is now hoping to get more clarity on the expansion of the universe with the help of the James Webb Space Telescope, launched in December last year.

It should allow scientists to see new landmarks that are even further away and with better resolution.

WHAT IS DARK ENERGY?

Dark energy is a phrase used by physicists to describe a mysterious “something” that is causing unusual things to happen in the universe.

The universe is full of matter and the attractive force of gravity attracts all matter.

Then came 1998 and the Hubble Space Telescope observations of very distant supernovae that showed that, long ago, the universe was actually expanding more slowly than it is today.

The universe is not only expanding, it is expanding faster and faster as time goes on,” Dr. Kathy Romer, a scientist with the Dark Energy Survey, told MailOnline, as illustrated in this NASA graphic.

The universe is not only expanding, it is expanding faster and faster as time goes on,” Dr. Kathy Romer, a scientist with the Dark Energy Survey, told MailOnline, as illustrated in this NASA graphic.

So the expansion of the universe has not slowed down due to gravity, as everyone thought, it has been speeding up.

No one expected this, no one knew how to explain it. But something was causing it.

“The universe is not just expanding, it’s expanding faster and faster as time goes on,” Dr. Kathy Romer, a scientist at the Dark Energy Survey, told MailOnline.

“What we would expect is that the expansion would get slower and slower as time goes on, because it’s been almost 14 billion years since the Big Bang.”

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