Thu. May 23rd, 2019

When the biggest numbers don’t add up

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Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope have made their most precise measure yet for the expansion rate of the Universe.

It comes out at 74.03km/second per megaparsec (a megaparsec is 3.26 million light-years). Or put another way – the expansion increases by 74.03km/s for every 3.26 million light-years we look further out into space.

The problem is that’s 9% faster than expected. The BBC Today programme’s Justin Webb asked Nobel laureate Adam Riess of the Space Telescope Science Institute and Johns Hopkins University, US, why the discrepancy mattered.

When the biggest numbers don’t add up

The different methods scientists use to measure cosmic expansion fundamentally disagree with each other.

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