One of the main goals of the Hubble Space Telescope, launched in 1990, was to measure the rate of expansion of the universe. For the past 30 years, the Space Observatory has been helping scientists to detect and improve this acceleration rate, while at the same time discovering a mysterious wrinkle.
To measure even larger cosmic distances, Hubble has observed more than 40 galaxies, including vibrating stars and supernovae called supernovae.
To understand how fast our universe is expanding, astronomers made an unexpected discovery in 1998: “Dark energy.” This phenomenon acts as a mysterious driver that accelerates the rate of development. Another twist is the inexplicable difference between the rate of expansion of the local universe and the rate of expansion of the distant universe immediately after the Big Bang.
Scientists may not understand the observed contradiction, but agree that it is strange.
Launched in December, the James Webb Space Telescope will be able to observe Hubble’s milestones at sharp resolution and further distances, helping to understand the mismatch between the two numbers.
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