It seems that our universe is growing at a very rapid rate, a factor that NASA’s Hubble telescope has found out with its new set of measurements. The findings that NASA uncovered will be published in The Astrophysical Journal.
What are the facts?
NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope is one of the most important tools that they use when calculating the size of the universe and the way in which it expands. Since the discovery of our universe as we know it today, tools such as this one are necessary in order to scope out the vastness of the universe in areas that we cannot yet go ourselves towards.
Who is the team that works with Hubble?
Nobel Laureate Adam Riess of the Space Telescope Science Institute was the researcher in charge of this project along with his team who named itself called the Supernova H0 for the Equation of State (SH0ES). They have been working with Hubble for the past 6 years to analyze the distance between the galaxies. The Hubble constant is a term that refers to the measurements taken by NASA’s telescope which look to see how fast the universe expands.
How do you measure the Hubble constant?
Reiss and his team have chosen very special supernovas and stars as milestones for their research. For example, when they look to analyze short distances they choose as milestones Cepheid variables – stars that brighten and dim at intervals correlated to their intrinsic brightness.
In order to measure this distance they must have a unit of measure, called a Parallax. If we wanted to define this in clear terms, a Parallax is the change of an objects’ position because of the observer moving from one spot to another. The ancient Greeks were the first to use this technique to analyze the distance between the Earth and the Moon. The most recent measurement made by the Parallax was done by calculating the distance between 8 new Cepheid stars in our Milky Way.
How do they ensure accuracy?
The astronomers came up with a very smart method for this. They created a scanning technique in which the telescope measured a star’s position a 1000 times in 1 minute every 6 months for 4 years. They then ruled out any possible inaccuracies. The team then looked at the true brightness of the Cepheid stars and after that they accurately calculated the distance.
What were the instruments that they used?
They only used Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3, a factor that helped them rule out any possible inaccuracies.
What do these findings show?
Riss and his team discovered that after the big bang the universe has expanded quite substantially. The difference between the two measurements, as stated above, is roughly 9 percent.
What is the difference between Planck’s result and Hubble?
Planck’s result showed that the Hubble would only measure 67 kilometers per second per mega parsec (3.3 million light-years), and could be no higher than 69 kilometers per second per mega parsec. However, the Hubble measured 73 kilometers per second per mega parsec. This value is shocking for astronomers. Also, it cannot be contested by anyone due to the accuracy of the data that the Hubble provides.
What are some of the reasons for this difference of data?
Riss and his team came up with a few possible reasons for this. The first one is that galaxies are pushing each other away due to the dark energy, already known to exist in the universe. This dark energy values over time and is not a fixed value.
Another reason is that there is a new subatomic particle in the universe that travels faster than the speed of light. This could be responsible for the 9% growth that has been recorded by the Hubble.
Last but not least, the third reason is that dark matter and normal matter interact very differently with one another. The theory that Riss and his team came up with is that dark matter interacts strongly that previously thought of with normal matter.
Any of these outcomes are plausible and can change the outcome of the early universe.