Grav-wave eggheads come closer to nailing down Hubble's Constant – the universe's speedy rate of expansion

www.theregister.co.uk | 7/10/2019 | Staff
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Scientists think they've made a major leap towards nailing the expansion rate of the universe, known as Hubble's Constant, thanks to gravitational wave data.

The astroboffins, based at Princeton in the US, estimate the constant to be anywhere from 65.3 to 75.6 kilometers per second per megaparsec, according to a paper published in Nature Astronomy this week. That means the universe was observed to expand at a rate of up to 75.6 kilometers per second over an observed megaparsec, which itself spans 3.2 million light years.

Rate - Expansion - Subject - Debate - Science

The rate of the expansion has been a subject of intense debate in science as the two leading methods used to calculate the so-called constant don’t seem to agree. One known as the cosmological model analyses the cosmic microwave background (CMB) over large distances, while the cosmic-distance ladder method studies local supernovae explosions to estimate Hubble’s Constant.

“Either one of them is incorrect, or the models of the physics which underpin them are wrong. We’d like to know what is really happening in the universe, so we need a third, independent check," Kenta Hotokezaka, first author of the paper and a postdoctoral fellow at Princeton’s department of astrophysical sciences, said.

Princeton - Team - Source - Hubble - Waves

The Princeton team decided to look at a different source to measure Hubble’s constant: the gravitational waves emitted by a pair...
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