Category: leavitt’s law

Scientists Can’t Agree On The Expanding …

Scientists Can’t Agree On The Expanding Universe

“The question of how quickly the Universe is expanding is one that has troubled astronomers and astrophysicists since we first expansion was occurring at all. It’s an incredible achievement that multiple, independent methods yield answers that are consistent to within 10%, but they don’t agree with each other, and that’s troubling.

If there’s an error in parallax, Cepheids, or supernovae, the expansion rate may truly be on the low end: 67 km/s/Mpc. If so, the Universe will fall into line when we identify our mistake. But if the Cosmic Microwave Background group is mistaken, and the expansion rate is closer to 73 km/s/Mpc, it foretells a crisis in modern cosmology. The Universe cannot have the dark matter density and initial fluctuations 73 km/s/Mpc would imply.

Either one team has made an unidentified mistake, or our conception of the Universe needs a revolution. I’m betting on the former.”

The Universe is expanding: the observations overwhelmingly support that. It’s consistent with Einstein’s General Relativity; it work with the framework of the Big Bang; it allows us to quantify and predict the ultimate fate of our Universe. 

But how fast, then, is the Universe expanding?

Scientists can’t agree, because there are three different techniques you can use to measure it. Two agree; one doesn’t.

So what gives? This is the controversy driving astrophysicists nuts at the moment. Come learn what it’s all about, along with my hunch as to what the resolution will be!