Hubble identifies unusual wrinkles in the universe's expansion rate

Over the past 30 years, the Space Observatory has helped scientists discover and refine this accelerating rate — as well as revealing mysterious wrinkles that only new physics can solve.

Hubble has detected more than 40 galaxies that contain pulsars as well as exploding stars called supernovae to measure larger cosmic distances. These two phenomena help astronomers determine astronomical distances as mile markers, which indicated the rate of expansion.

In their quest to understand how fast our universe is expanding, astronomers already made one unexpected discovery in 1998: “dark energy.” This phenomenon acts as a mysterious driving force that accelerates the rate of expansion.

And there is another development: an unexplained difference between the expansion rate of the local universe versus the expansion rate of the distant universe immediately after the big bang.

Scientists don’t understand the paradox, but they do admit that it’s strange and could require new physics.

“You get the most accurate measure of the expansion rate of the universe from the gold standard for telescopes and cosmic tilt markers,” said Adam Rees, a Nobel Prize winner at the Space Telescope Science Institute and Distinguished Professor at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. in the current situation.

“That’s what the Hubble Space Telescope was built for, using the best technology we know to do it. That’s probably the Hubble magnum, because it would take another 30 years of Hubble’s life to double the size of this sample.”

decades of surveillance

The telescope is named after pioneering astronomer Edwin Hubble, who discovered in the 1920s that distant clouds in the universe were actually galaxies. (died 1953).

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Hubble relied on astronomer Henrietta Swan-Levitt’s 1912 work to discover periods of brightness in pulsars called Cepheid variables. Cepheids act like cosmic tilt markers because they periodically light up and dim within our galaxy and beyond.

Hubble’s work led to the revelation that our galaxy was one of many that forever changed our perspective and our place in the universe. The astronomer continued his work and discovered that distant galaxies appear to be moving quickly, suggesting that we live in an expanding universe that began with the Big Bang.

The discovery of the expansion rate of the universe helped to reach 2011 Nobel Prize in PhysicsAwarded to Saul Perlmutter, Brian P. Schmidt, and Riess “for the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the universe through observations of distant supernovae.”

Reiss continues to lead SHOES, short for Supernova, H0, for the dark energy state equation, a scientific collaboration that investigates the expansion rate of the universe. His team is publishing a paper in The Astrophysical Journal providing the latest update on the Hubble constant, as the rate of expansion is known.

Unresolved contradiction

Measuring distant objects has created a “cosmic distance ladder” that could help scientists better estimate the age of the universe and understand its foundations.

Multiple teams of astronomers using the Hubble telescope have arrived at a Hubble constant of 73 plus or minus 1 kilometer per second per megaparsec. (A parsec has an area of ​​1 million parsecs, or 3.26 million light-years.)

“Hubble’s constant is a very special number,” he said. “It can be used to thread a needle from the past to the present to test a comprehensive understanding of our universe. This required a tremendous amount of detailed work.” Lecia Verdi, a cosmologist at the Catalan Institute for Research and Advanced Studies and the Institute of Cosmology at the University of Barcelona, ​​said in a statement.

Hubble spies a rare giant star that fights against self-destruction

But the expected actual rate of expansion of the universe is slower than observed by the Hubble telescope, according to astronomers using the Standard Cosmological Model of the Universe (a theory referring to the components of the Big Bang) and measurements taken by the European Space Agency’s Planck. assignment between 2009 and 2013.

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The Planck Observatory, another space observatory, was used to measure the cosmic microwave background, or residual radiation from the Big Bang 13.8 billion years ago.

Planck scientists have reached the Hubble constant of 67.5 plus or minus 0.5 kilometers per second per megaparsec.

The James Webb Space Telescope, which was launched in December, will be able to observe Hubble’s tilt marks with greater accuracy and at greater distances, which may contribute to understanding the discrepancy between the two numbers.

It presents an exciting challenge for cosmologists who were once determined to measure the Hubble constant – and now find themselves wondering what additional physics might help them solve a new mystery about the universe.

“In fact, I don’t really care what the scaling value is specifically, but I like using it to get to know the universe,” Reese said.

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