THE universe is expanding far faster than we thought – and scientists are struggling to keep up.
That’s according to a shock new study, which says we may need to rewrite the history of the cosmos to get our heads around the baffling find.
Nasa A telescope’s view of the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of our Milky Way. The inset image, taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, reveals one of many star clusters scattered throughout the dwarf galaxy
Researchers used one of the world’s most powerful telescopes to track the movements of faraway galaxies.
They found the space galaxies are shifting away from each other faster than previous estimates.
Based on the universe’s trajectory seen shortly after the Big Bang, this means the cosmos is expanding about 9% quicker than we thought.
Measurements were taken with Nasa’s Hubble telescope, and back up previous readings taken by the space gadget.
Nasa Scientists used the Hubble Space Telescope for their study. They measured special stars called Cepheid variables in our neighbouring galaxy the Large Magellanic Cloud to track the expansion of the universe
Astronomers admit that new physics may be needed to fathom the finding, which doesn’t line up with how we understand the universe.
This could rewrite the History of the Universe, which is largely based on our current grasp of physics.
“This is not what we expected,” said study lead author Adam Riess, a scientist at The Johns Hopkins University in the US.
“This mismatch has been growing and has now reached a point that is really impossible to dismiss as a fluke.”
Scientists used Hubble to measure the light coming off of 70 stars in our neighbouring galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud.
They used a new method to capture quick images of these stars.
Because of the way they brighten and dim at predictable rates, these stars, called Cepheid variables, can be used to measure distances in the universe.
Their results don’t match up with the expected expansion rate of the universe, which was calculated by the European Space Agency’s Planck satellite, based on conditions Planck observed 380,000 years after the Big Bang.
Alamy The find could rewrite the history of the Universe
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“This is not just two experiments disagreeing. We are measuring something fundamentally different,” Riess explained.
“One is a measurement of how fast the universe is expanding today, as we see it. The other is a prediction based on the physics of the early universe and on measurements of how fast it ought to be expanding.
“If these values don’t agree, there becomes a very strong likelihood that we’re missing something in the cosmological model that connects the two eras.”
The team’s research will be published in The Astrophysical Journal.
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