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New information gleaned from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has led scientists to discover 'something weird' happening with our universe.
I'll be the first to admit the declaration isn't the most technical, but at least the notion of weirdness is one even the lesser science-orientated of us can understand.
'Something weird' appears to be the best way NASA can describe the happenings after receiving the data from the telescope, as a press release from the space agency explained there is 'mystery' surrounding the situation.
NEWS: For decades after Edwin Hubble discovered myriad galaxies outside of our home galaxy, astronomers have toiled to nail down the expansion rate that would yield a true age for the universe. (1/6) pic.twitter.com/UsE8jF2bBP— Hubble Space Telescope (@HubbleTelescope) May 19, 2022
The discovery is related to the completion of a 'nearly 30-year marathon' throughout which the telescope has been calibrating 'milepost markers' to help researchers measure the expansion rate of the universe.
As data became more precise, scientists discovered a 'discrepancy' in the rate of expansion happening around us in the 'local universe' compared to observations from immediately after the Big Bang.
NASA explained the difference predicts a 'different expansion value', with data from the telescope supporting the 'idea that something weird is going on, possibly involving brand new physics'. The exact reason for the difference, however, is yet to be determined.
The update from the Hubble Space Telescope has been detailed in a new paper from a team of scientists lead by Nobel Laureate Adam Riess, of the Space Telescope Science Institute and the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.
Commenting on the data received from the telescope, Riess noted: "You are getting the most precise measure of the expansion rate for the universe from the gold standard of telescopes and cosmic mile markers.
"This is what the Hubble Space Telescope was built to do, using the best techniques we know to do it. This is likely Hubble's magnum opus, because it would take another 30 years of Hubble's life to even double this sample size."
Though astronomers cannot currently offer an explanation for the 'weird' discovery, NASA said such unanswered questions makes work more intriguing for cosmologists like Riess, who commented: "Actually, I don't care what the expansion value is specifically, but I like to use it to learn about the universe."
Scientists began attempting to measure the rate at which the universe was expanding in the 1920s, with measurements from American astronomer Edwin Hubble.
The Hubble Space Telescope, named in honour of the astronomer, was launched in 1990 and has allowed scientists to observe some of the most distant stars and galaxies yet, with replacements and upgrades helping to extend the telescope’s lifetime.
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