Searching Hubble. Bob Zimmerman,

Jun 04, 2016, 05:17 AM

06-03-2016 (Photo: "Astronomer Edwin Hubble peers though the eyepiece of the 100-inch Hooker telescope at) Twitter: @BatchelorShow Searching Hubble. Bob Zimmerman,

“A faster Hubble constant? June 2, 2016 at 12:32 pm Robert Zimmerman The uncertainty of science: New data from the Hubble Space Telescope suggests the universe’s expansion rate is 5%-9% faster than previously thought. “They say they have refined the expansion rate to a margin of error of only 2.4%, but forgive me if I remain skeptical. When it comes to cosmology, the uncertainties dominate, despite these claims.

“…Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have discovered that the universe is expanding 5 percent to 9 percent faster than expected. "This surprising finding may be an important clue to understanding those mysterious parts of the universe that make up 95 percent of everything and don't emit light, such as dark energy, dark matter, and dark radiation," said study leader and Nobel Laureate Adam Riess of the Space Telescope Science Institute and The Johns Hopkins University, both in Baltimore, Maryland. “The results will appear in an upcoming issue of The Astrophysical Journal. Riess' team made the discovery by refining the universe's current expansion rate to unprecedented accuracy, reducing the uncertainty to only 2.4 percent. The team made the refinements by developing innovative techniques that improved the precision of distance measurements to faraway galaxies. “The team looked for galaxies containing both Cepheid stars and Type Ia supernovae. Cepheid stars pulsate at rates that correspond to their true brightness, which can be compared with their apparent brightness as seen from Earth to accurately determine their distance. Type Ia supernovae, another commonly used cosmic yardstick, are exploding stars that flare with the same brightness and are brilliant enough to be seen from relatively longer distances. “By measuring about 2,400 Cepheid stars in 19 galaxies and comparing the observed brightness of both types of stars, they accurately measured their true brightness and calculated distances to roughly 300 Type Ia supernovae in far-flung galaxies. The team compared those distances with the expansion of space as measured by the stretching of light from receding galaxies. The team used these two values to calculate how fast the universe expands with time, or the Hubble constant. “The improved Hubble constant value is 73.2 kilometers per second per megaparsec. (A megaparsec equals 3.26 million light-years.) The new value means the distance between cosmic objects will double in another 9.8 billion years….