Infrared observatory measures expansion of universeQuicklink submitted by Kyle McDermott Permalink
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|Astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have greatly improved the cosmic distance ladder used to measure the expansion rate of the universe, as well as its size and age. The Hubble constant is named after the astronomer Edwin P. Hubble, who astonished the world in the 1920s by confirming our universe has been expanding since it [sprouted] into being 13.7 billion years ago. In the late 1990s, astronomers discovered the expansion is accelerating, or speeding up over time. Determining the expansion rate is critical for understanding the age and size of the universe. 'Just over a decade ago, using the words 'precision' and 'cosmology' in the same sentence was not possible, and the size and age of the universe was not known to better than a factor of two,' said Freedman. 'Now we are talking about accuracies of a few percent. It is quite extraordinary.'|
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