Universe will double in size in 10 billion years

(ORDO NEWS) — Ever since people started looking at the stars, the biggest question has been how big the universe is. In the 1920s, astrophysicist Edwin Hubble proved that the universe was expanding, and almost a century after his discovery, the Hubble Space Telescope issued a new prediction.

This forecast is called the most correct – with an accuracy of just over 1 percent. The Hubble spacecraft, after three decades of careful observation and data collection followed by analysis by numerous teams of astronomers, has shown results that are about eight times more accurate than Hubble’s expected ability.

Once upon a time, Edwin Hubble discovered that several galaxies outside our galaxy do not stand still and that the farther the galaxy, the faster it is moving away from us.

It was the rate of expansion of space, and Hubble studied these galaxies as a kind of markers of space change. The rate of expansion is called the Hubble constant, a unit of measure that indicates that the universe has been getting bigger since the Big Bang.

When the Hubble Space Telescope was launched in 1990, the expansion rate of the universe was so unpredictable that it could be as little as 8 billion years old, or even 20 billion years old. It was predicted that the expansion rate of the universe would be slower than what Hubble actually sees.

NASA says that, given Hubble’s large sample size, the chances of astronomers being wrong is only one in a million.

Universe will double in size in 10 billion years 2
A collection of 36 images of galaxies taken by the Hubble telescope. Scientists have observed galaxies to measure the Hubble constant (the rate of expansion of the universe)

The results of the research will be published in a special issue of the Astrophysical Journal, which will show the completion of the largest and probably the last major update of the Hubble constant. The new results are more than double the previous results from space distance markers.

Observations have been going on since Hubble went into orbit, and they have been stepped up in 2005 and 2009 with the addition of powerful new cameras on board the telescope.

Nobel laureate Adam Riess of Johns Hopkins University has led a team of scientists investigating the expansion rate of the universe.

“This is exactly what the Hubble Space Telescope was built for, using the best methods we know of. It will likely take another 30 years for the telescope to double the sample size,” Riess said.

Scientists hope that the James Webb telescope will further refine these observations and provide an even more accurate calculation of the expansion rate.


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