NASA says 'something weird' is happening in the universe

This collection of 36 images from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope features galaxies that are all hosts to both Cepheid variables and supernovae.
This collection of 36 images from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope features galaxies that are all hosts to both Cepheid variables and supernovae. Photo credit NASA

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS RADIO) – New research from the Hubble Space Telescope has found something interesting is happening in the universe, and it not only changes previous assumptions, but also introduces "brand new physics."

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Scientists have been studying new data from the Hubble telescope, and they say that the universe's expansion rate is much quicker than previously thought. The research has found that to a precision rate of just over 1%, the universe will double in size in 10 billion years.

Adam Riess of the Space Telescope Science Institute and the John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, shared that the measurements they are now getting are more accurate than ever before. "You are getting the most precise measure of the expansion rate for the universe from the gold standard of telescopes and cosmic mile markers," Reiss said.

The observations have found that galaxies in the universe are moving away from the Milky Way much faster than previously thought, but scientists aren't sure why.

However, scientists in the news release shared that while they're not sure what it is, something bizarre is happening. "The cause of this discrepancy remains a mystery. But Hubble data, encompassing a variety of cosmic objects that serve as distance markers, support the idea that something weird is going on, possibly involving brand new physics," officials said in a news release.

Riess and his scientific collaboration have shared that the research and data given from Hubble are exactly what it was meant to do, following in the footsteps of its namesake Edwin Hubble who was among the first astronomers to discover galaxies outside the Milky Way, and that they were moving.

"This is what the Hubble Space Telescope was built to do, using the best techniques we know to do it. This is likely Hubble's magnum opus, because it would take another 30 years of Hubble's life to even double this sample size," Riess said.

The paper written by Riess and his team will be published in The Astrophysical Journal and will most likely be the last major update on the Hubble constant, with the telescope scheduled to be decommissioned soon.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: NASA