There may be fundamental shortcomings in understanding the universe.
The problem occurred when scientists tried to compute and measure a value called the Hubble constant, which indicates how fast the universe expands outward.
The value was first calculated in the 1920s by astronomer Edwin Hubble. But since then, astronomers observing and measuring the expansion of the universe have come to different levels of the Hubble constant, none of which seems consistent. The discrepancy questions not only our idea of how old the universe is, but also our ability to fundamentally understand the physics that determines its behavior.
"Of course, the question arises as to whether the discrepancy stems from an aspect that astronomers have. I do not yet understand which stars we measure or whether our cosmological model of the universe is still incomplete," said the University of Chicago astronomer , Wendy Freedman, in a NASA press release. "Or maybe both need to be improved."
Freedman is responsible for the latest measurement of the Hubble constant, which she has calculated using a different type of cosmic landmark than in previous experiments.
Your team measured the brightness of red giant stars in distant galaxies. As these stars reach uniform size and brightness, their distance from Earth can be calculated more easily than some other stars. Freedman's work, which was adopted by The Astrophysical Journal but not yet published, revealed that the universe, according to the press release, is expanding at 69.8 kilometers per second and megaparsec.
This is a slower rate of expansion than was calculated in another recent study that focused on a different type of star, but calculated a faster rate than in another study, measured in the remains of light from the Big Bang called the Cosmic Microwave Background were.
as a link between these two other studies ̵
"The Hubble constant is the cosmological parameter that determines the absolute scale, size, and age of Hubble's universe; This is one of the most direct methods to quantify the evolution of the universe, "said Freedman in the press release. "The discrepancy we saw earlier has not disappeared, but this new evidence suggests that the jury is still not sure if there is any immediate and compelling reason to assume that our current model of the universe is a fundamental mistake having." 19659002] The statistical analysis further complicates the problem and validates both of these two previous studies. This is from an article by New Scientist published last week before Freedman's study was announced. The probability that their results were found by chance is only one in 3.5 million.
In the middle of the next decade, NASA hopes to bring the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope into orbit to more accurately measure the distance of celestial objects, according to the press release. In this case, astronomers may be able to reconcile their various Hubble constant values.
"The Hubble constant is the biggest problem in cosmology that we can currently access, and the hope is that this crack in our understanding will lead us to even bigger cracks like dark energy and dark matter," Duke University astronomer Daniel Scolnic told New Scientist. " We just have to chase the crack."
READ MORE: NEW HUBBLE CONSTANT MEASUREMENT COMBINES THE UNIVERSE EXPANSION RATE SECRET [NASA]
More About Hubble Constant: Figure out how fast the universe expands , possibly requires a new kind of physics