There may be fundamental flaws in our understanding of the universe.
The problem arose when scientists tried to calculate and measure a value called the Hubble constant, which represents how fast the universe is expanding outward
. The value was first calculated by Edwin Hubble's astronomer in the 1920s. But since then, astronomers who monitor and measure the expansion of the universe reach different values of the Hubble constant, none of them agreeing to each other. The inconsistency casts doubt not only on our idea of how old the universe is, but also on our ability to understand fundamentally the physics that governs its behavior. "Of course, questions arise as to whether it comes from any aspect that astronomers still do not know about the stars we measure, or whether our cosmological model of the universe is still incomplete," said University of Chicago-based astronomer Wendy Friedman in NASA's press release . "Or maybe both should be improved."
Freedman is responsible for the last measurement of the Hubble constant, which she calculates, using a different kind of cosmic landmark from previous experiments.
Her team measures the brightness of the red. giant stars in distant galaxies. Since these stars reach the same size and brightness, their distance from the Earth can be calculated more easily than some other stars. Freedman's work, which was accepted but not yet published by The Astrophysical Journal found that the universe was growing at 69.8 km / h in a mega-parsec, according to the press release.
This is a slower expansion rate than calculated in another recent study that focuses on a different star, but at a faster rate than calculated in another study that measures the remainder of the big bang's light, called Cosmic Microwave Background. as a breaker between these two other studies ̵
In the middle of the next decade, NASA hopes to launch the telescope with a wide-ranging infrared study, and scientists will then be able to measure the distance of the sky objects more accurately, according to the press release. When this happens, astronomers are likely to be able to reconcile the different values of the constant Hubble. "The Hubble constant is the biggest cosmology problem that we have access to right now, and the hope is that this crack in our understanding will lead us to some even bigger cracks like dark energy and dark matter, We just have to pursue the crack. ": Understand how fast the universe may require a new type of physics