The rate of expansion of the universe has long fascinated astronomers. In the 1920s, Edwin P. Since the discovery of ‘dark energy’ in the 1990s, from initial research by Hubble and Georges Lemaitre, the field has progressed slowly but steadily. The Hubble Space Telescope has provided a wealth of data for study and is one of the most powerful space-based observatories, helping astronomers understand cosmic mysteries.
In its 30 years of existence, the telescope has taken over 1.3 billion photographs. It is now focusing on one more challenging mission – to find out how fast the universe is expanding. So far, investigations suggest that something unusual is happening in the universe, NASA said.
Technological advances mean that scientists can now study the expansion of the universe more precisely. And there seems to be an inconsistency. NASA says there was a difference between the rate of expansion of the universe and observations after the Big Bang, suggesting that “something strange” is happening.
“The reason for this difference remains a mystery. But Hubble data, which includes various cosmic objects that act as distance markers, supports the notion that strange things are happening, possibly involving entirely new physics, “NASA said.
To understand the phenomenon, they are studying data collected by the Hubble Space Telescope on a set of “milepost markets” of space and time that can be used to track the rate of expansion as they move.
NASA says the telescope has calibrated more than 40 “milepost markers” since its launch in 1990.
“You get the most accurate measure of the rate of expansion of the universe from the gold value of telescopes and cosmic mile markers,” said Adam Rees, a Nobel laureate at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, and the Space Telescope Science Institute.
The study of the expansion of the universe began in 1920 with the measurements of Hubble and Lemaitra. Hubble said that galaxies outside the Milky Way seem to be moving away from it. He added that the farther away they were from Earth’s galaxy, the faster they were moving away. Since then, scientists have been trying to measure this expansion.
When the telescope began collecting data, it discovered that the rate of expansion was faster than the models had predicted – 67.5 km per second per megaparse, compared to the observations of about 73.
This inconsistency forces scientists to re-evaluate their understanding and start over. Scientists are now waiting for the new James Webb Space Telescope to start sending data so they can delve deeper into this mystery.