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Space & Astronomy

'Something weird' happening with the universe, says NASA

By T.K. Randall
May 21, 2022 · Comment icon 8 comments

The universe is expanding, but the numbers don't seem to add up. Image Credit: NASA/ESA
Data from the Hubble Space Telescope has highlighted a discrepancy with regard to the expansion of the cosmos.
There is certainly a lot that we don't understand about the universe and one of the most enduring mysteries of them all concerns the fact that the cosmos is expanding at an accelerating rate.

For years, scientists have been collecting data and making astronomical observations in an effort to accurately calculate the rate of this expansion and to understand what might be driving it.

Now NASA has revealed that the latest data from the Hubble Space Telescope seems to support the idea that something 'weird' is going on - there is a peculiar discrepancy in the rate of expansion in the universe around us compared to observations from immediately after the Big Bang.

The findings are based on almost 30 years of observations in which the telescope has been calibrating 'milepost markers' to help scientists calculate the rate of expansion.
"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 study leader and Nobel Laureate Adam Riess.

"This is what the Hubble Space Telescope was built to do, using the best techniques we know to do it. This is likely Hubble's magnum opus, because it would take another 30 years of Hubble's life to even double this sample size."

The discrepancy suggests that the expansion of the universe is a lot more complex than expected and there could be new physics at play that we simply don't yet understand.

It is hoped that future observations through newer telescopes such as the James Webb will provide additional data to help solve this cosmic conundrum once and for all.

Source: NASA | Comments (8)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by lightly 2 years ago
  That,  insight  “something weird is going on” is probably the greatest advancement in decades, of our understanding of the universe .  
Comment icon #2 Posted by Earl.Of.Trumps 2 years ago
Ya think something is a miss, eh? The age of the universe is  13.79B years. So one would think that the maximum the radius of the universe could be is 13.78B light years, ya think. But in reality, the radius of the universe is 46.5B light years.  “something weird is going on” - Yup. 
Comment icon #3 Posted by lightly 2 years ago
I dunno !  Good question I reckon.    But, isn’t the age of the universe simply based on how far we can see ?  We can only see back that far/long?      And as for The radius… (the distance from the center of a circle to it’s outside edge)    46.5B light years….(from Here)!?   Both measurements assume that WE are at the center of a circular universe?   What happens to those measurements if taken from a different location.. halfway across the observable universe??         Would the universe suddenly become Lop-Sided?  (No).   or.. Would the ‘center’ of the universe m... [More]
Comment icon #4 Posted by Earl.Of.Trumps 2 years ago
The radius, of course, is the distance from the center to the edge, not the distance from *here* to the edge.  You can ask @cormac mac airtbut I don't think he's into physics. I asked a PhD physicist and he told me that  I would need a special physics course just to listen to the explanation. All I can say for now is, **I don't get it**  lol
Comment icon #5 Posted by cormac mac airt 2 years ago
Two items guys:   1) I appreciate the vote of confidence but I’m not THAT good, I appreciate the kind words though. 2) IIRC the age commonly given is for the observable universe and NOT the universe as a whole. It also has NOTHING to do with any radii, whether from “here” to the edge or from the center which BTW doesn’t exist since all matter or energy having existed prior to the Big Bang did so at the Planck-scale which makes the entire observable universe “the center”. It relies on calculations involving the Hubble Constant as well as estimates of how much normal matter, dark m... [More]
Comment icon #6 Posted by TripGun 2 years ago
We just need some better measuring devices.
Comment icon #7 Posted by lightly 2 years ago
Thanks cormac..  (told ya he could help Earl;)    A lot of informative and interesting info..   but I must confess, I read the entire link..and am as confused as ever.      (maybe it’s just me!). . .   I wonder how the science books of the distant future will describe the nature of the Universe?   
Comment icon #8 Posted by DanL 2 years ago
The thing is that for all we KNOW the universe is of infinite size. That means that all points can be the center with infinite distance in every direction. I think that as time passes mankind should be able to shrink those distances. The real meaningful distance is two things. One is the actual measured distance but to people what has more meaning is how long it will take to go from point A to point B. We have regularly shrunk the distance we consider close. I live in the woods near a tiny town that is about 25 miles from a small city. Basically, I am in the suburbs of a small town but it is a... [More]

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