The Hubble telescope has calculated, with a great accuracy, the Universe’s expansion rate. The new results made scientists think that, right now, there is something happening in the Universe and it is very interesting but didn’t understand much. A new physics may be needed, according to the new study.
The study has been recently published in The Astrophysical Journal.
The speed at which the Universe expands now is higher than expected
Last calculation of the Universe’s expansion rate has been conducted approximately 100 years ago. In comparison to the results revealed back then, the new measurements show an accelerated expansion rate and admitted that the actual physics can’t explain how this inconsistency occurred.
However, these two weren’t the only Universe’s expansion speed calculations.
ESA’s satellite Planck also measured the expansion rate of the Universe and noticed that the Hubble consonant couldn’t exceed 69 km/s/megaparsec. However, the recent studies stipulated a value of 73 km/s/megaparsec.
All this means that the galaxies are moving around at much higher speeds than previous observation studied were able to calculate.
A new scanning technique for the Hubble telescope
To obtain more accurate results, scientists have updated Hubble with a new scanning technique which involves measuring a star’s position, minute-by-minute, for the last 6 years. Astronomers set Hubble to observe Cepheid stars because their light is believed suitable for long-distance measurements.
“This method allows for repeated opportunities to measure the extremely tiny displacements due to parallax.You’re measuring the separation between two stars, not just in one place on the camera, but over and over thousands of times, reducing the errors in measurement,” explained Adam Reiss, the study’s leader and a Nobel Laureate from the STScI (Space Telescope Science Institute).
In the near future, scientists will collaborate with Hubble and ESA’s Gaia observatory to reduce the errors and to provide an even more accurate calculation of the Universe’s expansion rate.