After completing roughly a 30-year marathon, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has calibrated more than 40 “milepost markers” of space and time to assist scientists in precisely assessing the universe’s expansion rate, which is a journey with a plot twist.
The quest for the universe’s expansion rate began in the 1920s with measurements by astronomers Edwin P. Hubble and Georges Lemaître. In 1998, this governed the discovery of “dark energy,” a mysterious, terrible force hastening the universe’s expansion. In current years, astronomers launch another twist, i.e., a disparity between the expansion rate as measured in the local universe correlated to autonomous observations from right after the big bang, which foresees a different growth value.
You are getting the most precise measurement of the expansion rate for the universe from the gold standard of telescopes and cosmic mile markers,” explained Nobel Laureate Adam Riess of the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.
Riess directs a scientific collaboration examining the universe’s expansion rate SH0ES, which sits for Supernova, H0, for the Equation of State of Dark Energy. “This is what the Hubble Space Telescope was built to do, using the best techniques we know. 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 announced.
“The Hubble constant is a very special number, and it can be used to thread a needle from the past to the present for an end-to-end test of our understanding of the universe. This took a phenomenal amount of detailed work,” said Dr. Licia Verde, a cosmologist at ICREA and the ICC-University of Barcelona, speaking of the SH0ES teamwork.