Scientists have come up with a new set of information about the universe. Using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have confirmed that universe is expanding at a rate faster than previously thought.
The Hubble constant - the rate at which the Universe is expanding - is one of the fundamental quantities describing our Universe. This new finding may even completely overturn our understanding of the cosmos.
Astronomers from the HOLiCOW collaboration, led by Sherry Suyu from the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Germany, used telescopes in space and on Earth to observe five galaxies in order to arrive at an independent measurement of the Hubble constant.
“The expansion rate of the universe is now starting to be measured in different ways with such high precision that actual discrepancies may possibly point towards new physics beyond our current knowledge of the universe,” said Suyu.
Massive galaxies positioned between Earth and very distant quasars were kept as targets of the study. Using the brightness of quasars changing over time, astronomers can see the different images flicker at different times, the delays between them depending on the lengths of the paths the light has taken.
These delays are directly related to the value of the Hubble constant. Using the measurements of time delays between the multiple images, as well as computer models, scientists determined the Hubble constant to a high precision: 3.8 per cent.
“The Hubble constant is crucial for modern astronomy as it can help to confirm or refute whether our picture of the Universe - composed of dark energy, dark matter and normal matter - is actually correct, or if we are missing something fundamental, ”said Suyu.
With PTI Inputs