back to article Does my boom look big in this? New universe measurements bewilder boffins

Astronomers at the Space Telescope Institute and John Hopkins University have used NASA’s Hubble Telescope to show that the universe is expanding a little bit faster than expected. The Hubble Constant (how fast the universe expands with time) was predicted by the European Space Agency’s Planck observatory to be 67km per second …

  1. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    Some little galaxy ...

    ... broke wind.

  2. Aladdin Sane Silver badge
    Trollface

    not a bug, but a feature

    The universe worked fine in dev, ops problem now.

  3. Martin 47

    Just a thought, but.......

    What’s it expanding into?

    1. Spoonsinger

      Re:- What’s it expanding into?

      elasticated old man trousers

    2. Craigie

      It doesn't really work that way. It's weird, I know.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Itself.

      http://www.galactanet.com/oneoff/theegg_mod.html

    4. Mage Silver badge
      Alien

      What’s it expanding into?

      It's very hard to grasp. It's just expanding. But not expanding INTO anything. Not even vacuum.

    5. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      "What’s it expanding into?"

      It's not that the universe is expanding. No, it occupies the same space it has always occupied. The problem is we're shrinking.

    6. beep54

      Oblivion.

    7. Faux Science Slayer

      "Mysterious Dr X says, Universe is NOT Expanding"

      In Time magazine interview, Dec 1936, the father of big bang said it was a hoax....

      posted at CanadaFreePress website....

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        Re: "Mysterious Dr X says, Universe is NOT Expanding"

        You might as well ask what your mind expands into when you relax and meditate.

        It's just a view from a different window. Really liked the story in the link, never seen that written out before (but have oddly always known it to be true).

        This is why we think there are old souls. However, having thought about it a bit, how come so many of my 'younger-me' lifetimes are 'later' in the time-span of things, everywhere I look there are babies, babies, babies.

        Perhaps they need to be loved and taught by those of me who have been around the block a bit? Still, not sure why I would have done some of the things I'm obviously up to when I get into power, I'll have to give myself a stern talking to about that when I see me.

    8. tfb Silver badge
      Boffin

      Nothing: there is no notion of their being anything 'outside' the universe (in standard cosmology: there are theories in whch our universe is not everything, but you don't need such theories to explain expansion). The geometrical properties of the universe, including expansion, are what's called 'intrinsic' properties: they don't depend on the universe being somehow embedded into a larger structure.

      To make things even worse, it seems very likely that the universe is in fact flat, and therefore infinite (or topologically very odd which I don't think is likely), and has therefore always been so. The sense in which such a thing is expanding is that points on it move further apart over time, and in fact the distance between any pair of points goes to zero as you run the thing backwards.

      (Before saying that this idea is silly and obviously wrong, read a book on modern cosmology.)

  4. RachelG

    It's getting faster quicker. Big Rip is on its way.

    I'm sure this is Brexit's fault.

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      That'll be the inflation.

    2. TechnicalBen Silver badge

      Dark matter/energy.

      The big rip will happen if the dark matter/energy is not replacing the "space" in-between. I'd say currently observations are that energy/matter to fill in that empty space cannot come into spontaneous existence... BUT...

      As we don;t know what the dark energy is, the force driving the expansion etc, I say there is still time to find out if the big rip is a certainty, or something else is possible.

      Theoretically, there does not seem to be anything preventing matter from appearing in the comic quantum foam in the big empty space left by a "big rip", so why would reality wait until then, and not be doing it small scale now?

      1. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

        Re: Dark matter/energy.

        I don't think a "big rip" is even possible. As for the rest, you're hitting up a modified version of Fred Hoyle's "continuous creation" there.

        1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

          Re: Dark matter/energy.

          "As for the rest, you're hitting up a modified version of Fred Hoyle's "continuous creation" there."

          If the eternal inflation guys are right, then Hoyle has the last laugh on that.

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Dark matter/energy.

        'dark energy' may simply be trying to explain something that's a bit more elegant, sort of like the way geocentrists tried to explain planetary motion. In their model, each planet revolved on an invisible disk around a center point, and the center point revolved about the earth. it worked in mechanical representations, since each of the 'disks' was basically earth's orbit. And it "explained" motion by predicting planetary positions mechanically. but it was WAY wrong.

        One model I've seen may coincide with the observations a bit better. it would mean the universe is a bit smaller, though [or maybe way bigger?]. it's a non-linear way of looking at light propogation. The thought is that light travels "faster" over a distance. In under a few light years, the actual time it takes for light to travel from star to observer is roughly the same as the distance in, well, light years. But according to THIS model, vast distances travel FASTER because light is traveling in curved space. So in that model, the light seems to 'accelerate'. It explains a lot of the red shifting [not all of it] and the apparent acceleration of the expansion of the universe. It's also 'cool' in that something nonlinear is happening.

        Anyway, just thought I'd throw that out there. I forget where I read about this, I just remember reading it back in the 80's or 90's. Is it true? Idunno. Is it a rectally extrapolated attempt to prove the universe isn't created by the big bang? That's a distinct possibility [it seems to have been a somewhat liked idea amongst the creationists to counter 'big bang', though I doubt it proves a 6,000 year old earth]. But the idea that light does not travel "linearly" through space has other implications that might revolutionize physics, if it's actually true...

        (and we COULD be staring at the proof, right now!)

  5. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
    Alien

    Breath in, breath out

    Maybe the problem isn't so much with the maths, calculations or determination, but with calling it a "constant".

    Perhaps it's as simple as the bigger it gets the less there's holding it back.

    There; I said it. You know where to send the Nobel Prize to.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Breath in, breath out

      and we also assume that TIME is constant and/or follows our current predictions of relativity, and that light isn't somehow "lensing" due to the combined gravity of everything in the universe. If light traveled kind of "curvish" towards us (due to combined gravitational effects, let's say), we'd see distances as being farther than they actually are, through parallax and other means. And the farther away, the more curving you'd get, and really distant objects are hard enough to measure correctly, so is a 9% error THAT unexpected?

      Need a better ruler, that's all.

      /me imagines the sky through a sort of fish-eye lense, where the position of really distant luminous objects is slightly distorted from gravitational effects. that might do it, yeah. In that case, radio telescopes with finely tuned measurements _might_ be able to detect this.

      1. freecode99

        Re: Breath in, breath out

        Time is only an illusion that keeps everything from happening all at once.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Breath in, breath out

      Aaaannnnndd...your wrong.

      The edge of the universe is NOT rapidly expanding. I really wish people would stop pushing this fake science non-sense; but hay, what ever keeps the grant money rolling in right. But, But...We can see it. Why yes we can. However, just because you can observe something happening, that does not necessarily mean that your interpretation of said observation is correct. What we have here, is the failure to comprehend the concept of TIME and more importantly...RELATIVITY.

      TLDR; The edge of the universe is not rapidly expanding, we're just moving slower through time than it is.

      So, there was this really smart guy once, I think his name was Einstein. He came up with this really cool theory called Relativity, both normal and special. He posited that space and time are interwoven like a fabric; and when an object of mass is placed on it, that fabric becomes warped around it. The more massive the object the greater the warping. Now keep in mind this is not just space but also time. Time is not Newtonian it's relative, although for simplicity we can think of local time in Newtonian terms.

      There is another really smart guy named Hawking. He used this theory of Einstein's to posit a means of time travel (Into the Universe with Steven Hawking, ep.2). Dalorian not included, although with some modifications I guess you could if you really wanted. As we all should already know, the closer you get to a black hole the more time slows down (that's not entirely correct, but that's what most people think and it's good enough for now). If you were create a space ship and send it to Sag. A (our galaxy's super massive black hole), calculate an orbital trajectory that would place your orbit at a distance close enough to create a 2:1 temporal ratio (because time is slowing down - sort of); you could orbit Sag. A for five years to travel an extra 5 years into the future relative to Earth. In other words, If you were to clock that orbit at 30 seconds an Earth based ground observer would clock your same orbit at 60 seconds. If those ground based observers could observe you actions on the ship, you would appear to be moving in slow motion; However, to you, time is moving at a normal pace. But lets expand on this example of Hawking's a bit shall we.

      So, your on a space ship zipping around a black hole. Instead of Earth observing you as in the above example, lets check things out from your perspective. What do you see when you look back at Earth? Everything is moving in fast forward. Where above 30 seconds to you is 60 seconds to Earth, 30 seconds on Earth is 15 seconds to you. But, to each of you, 30 seconds is 30 seconds. The difference in time is relative in your location to the other. So lets expand this further. Instead of a space ship orbiting Sag. A, you have Earth, in the Sol system, orbiting a ~100 to ~140 thousand light year wide MASSIVE spiral galaxy known as the Milky Way. Instead of looking back at Earth, we're now looking out at the edge of the Universe. Given the example above, what do you think we should see? Ding...Ding...Ding...The edge of the universe moving in fast forward.

      Therefor, it's not rapidly expanding. Time is just moving at a faster pace out there relative to use, due to mass of our galaxy slowing it down for us. If you could take that same space ship of Hawking's and place out in the void of space, outside the gravitational influence of galaxy's, and observe the edge of the universe; you would find that the universe is actually expanding at a relatively constant rate fairly close to what we currently predict it should be. I guess I now know how Galileo felt trying to explain real science to the supposed intellectual elite. I await my Nobel Prize, but somehow i get the feeling i'll get the same treatment as Galileo...Oh, Well.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Aaaannnnndd...your wrong.

        Nobody likes a smartass, but...

        - the correct terminology for the supermassive at the Milky Way's center is correctly referred to as 'Sag. A*'. Note the asterisk.

        - "Dalorian". A what? I think you'll find you meant to write 'DeLorean'.

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
          Paris Hilton

          Re: Aaaannnnndd...your wrong.

          Did that explanation take into account the acceleration that's being observed*

          *For various values of observed, obviously. YLYMV.

  6. Chris G Silver badge
    Pint

    Dark beer

    Is a likely cause, it always creates a lot of gaseous expansion.

    Need a Guinness icon.

  7. far2much4me

    Dark Matter

    Yes, yes. By all means, blame dark matter. Again.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dark Matter

      So, are saying that Brexit is dark matter's fault?

  8. Stuart Halliday

    "It's not a Bug, it's the Universe."

    That's my new phrase...

  9. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    You will never know the horrible truth about dark oil, err... dark matter!

    The Hubble Constant (how fast the universe expands with time) was predicted by the European Space Agency’s Planck observatory to be 67km per second per megaparsec (3.3 million light-years), shortly before the spacecraft was deactivated after a successful four-year mission.

    As Fox Mulder would say: "A very convenient coincidence".

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: You will never know the horrible truth about dark oil, err... dark matter!

      I was trying to 'explain' parsecs and megaparsecs to my 12 year old and in the end just said astronomers like numbers with lots of numbers.

      Beautiful night out tonite - already well below 270K so need to get the car battery out to the Dobsonian so it can cool the mirror in time for the rugby.

      1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

        Re: Tom 7

        Get "Space Engine" a *to scale model of the universe.

        *Scale is 1:1, adjusting for size of monitor of cause... yes, that's not a joke. You can go anywhere in the universe, and zoom in/out as per accurate as we can get with current data and maths on a home PC. Is an amazing bit of software.

        1. Blofeld's Cat
          Alien

          Re: Tom 7

          Get "Space Engine" a *to scale model of the universe.

          Sounds like the "Total Perspective Vortex":

          "... every piece of matter in the Universe is in some way affected by every other piece of matter in the Universe, it is in theory possible to extrapolate the whole of creation - every Galaxy, every sun, every planet, their orbits, their composition, and their economic and social history from, say, one small piece of fairy cake."

          Douglas Adams, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

          1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
            Alien

            Re: Tom 7

            Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space.

    2. PNGuinn

      Re: You will never know the horrible truth about dark oil, err... dark matter!

      Hubble constant?

      That's so last bang.

      Post Brexit they need a new variable yurrupean one.

      How about the Bartysilli?

      I think I'll patent that ...

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: You will never know the horrible truth about dark oil, err... dark matter!

        "Post Brexit they need a new variable yurrupean one."

        yeah what WAS it with all the science-re-namey things. The first time I heard 'Sieverts' I was all "what the hell?" and then I googled and found out that someone changed the name AND 1 Sv became 100 REM which is like "thanks a LOT for making me do more math in my head".

        New 'SI' units meant "we were not very busy at that moment, so we did some make-work and appeared like we were doing something important for a while".

        So why NOT come up with something more 'European' than 'Hubble Constant'? You can't have British or American scientist names in things any more, after all...

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edwin_Hubble

        Let's call it "Lemaître's constant" from now on, then. He's a Belgian [that's EU enough, right?]

  10. The Light

    Light

    Excess light and the weakening strength of sun's causing expansion

    1. Mage Silver badge

      Re: Light

      No, not excess of light. Lack of dark. The sun is a dark sucker.

      1. The Light

        Re: Light

        I bet your a dark sucker!

        1. Michael Thibault

          Re: Light

          "I bet yore a dark sucker!"

          FTFY

          1. Scroticus Canis
            Headmaster

            Re: Light - your, yore - or even you're?

            Meep!

    2. TechnicalBen Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Technically.

      I would say light is technically part of the equation. Problem is, which part. ;)

  11. TrumpSlurp the Troll Silver badge
    Alien

    Hubble constant is apparently not a constant

    I presume they will keep on measuring until they either get the same results over a significant period of time or/and they end up with a set of results which don't need additional dark matter/beer/chocolate to make them acceptable.

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Hubble constant is apparently not a constant

      It is if you put it into Einstein's equations, well the ones he didnt publish or something, Everything else he played with is accurate to many many decimal points but this one doesnt get to decimals...

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Hubble constant is apparently not a constant

      At one point, "constant" worked, but apparently something (maybe the observations?) has changed. It might even be some "Doppler" effect or maybe the rate of expansion has changed?

      1. DJV Silver badge

        @Mark85

        "but apparently something (maybe the observations?) has changed"

        Yeah, the rest of the universe has woken up to Trump being President - now it can't get away fast enough!

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Hubble constant is apparently not a constant

      "I presume they will keep on measuring until they either get the same results over a significant period of time or/and they end up with a set of results which don't need additional dark matter/beer/chocolate to make them acceptable."

      Or it only seems like a constant because we've not been measuring for long enough to see the change.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The edge is nothing more than a ripple in the pond

    The edge of the universe is nothing more than the ripple you'd see if you threw a stone into a pond. What is outside the universe is the same as whats inside. We had a big bang and our universe is inside the center of that ripple. There are others, well outside what we can see beyond the ripple. It's just so mind-bogglingly far that it's hard to grasp. Think trillions or more of light years away. Much of our galaxy/universe would be forever changed before we'd see light from outside our universe.

    1. Shades

      Re: The edge is nothing more than a ripple in the pond

      "It's just so mind-bogglingly far that it's hard to grasp. Think trillions or more of light years away."

      As a Brit I couldn't grasp it taking two days to travel from Los Angeles, CA to San Antonio, TX by road. Still, some spectacular views along the way and I saw the Milky Way with my own eyes for the first time.

      1. revdjenk

        Re: The edge is nothing more than a ripple in the pond

        Traveled western US with some friends, one a guy from Sweden. He made us stop every 15-20 minutes driving across Kansas. He would take a picture. We kept asking, "Why are you taking a picture of 'nothing?'" (To us, the expanse of cornfields going off to infinity was nothing.) He just kept mumbling, "They won't believe how huge it is!"

      2. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: The edge is nothing more than a ripple in the pond

        "taking two days to travel from Los Angeles, CA to San Antonio, TX"

        Highway 8 through "the Zone" (Arizona) is wide open and empty space. Lots of it.

        Doesn't part of that trip go through Mexico? But you're British and you already had your passports [it's just that rental car companies don't really like it when you do that, you have to get Mexican car insurance at the border, yotta yotta]. Anyway there's a way around but it takes WAY longer.

        1. Shades

          Re: The edge is nothing more than a ripple in the pond

          "Doesn't part of that trip go through Mexico?"

          No. We took Interstate 10 from LA to San Antonio which passes through the Mexican border town of El Paso (US side) and then runs south-west parallel with the border (a few miles away from it) for about 60 miles before turning east south-east towards San Antonio.

      3. Rattus Rattus

        Re: two days to travel from Los Angeles, CA to San Antonio, TX by road

        Try visiting Australia then. My state is bigger than Alaska and Texas combined, and takes two days to drive across the short way. Three to four days to travel its length.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The edge is nothing more than a ripple in the pond

      A ripple on the earths surface (or a balloon) travels it's entire distance, and has no other ripples "outside".

      The flatness of the universe or it's curvature is partly responsible for our current observations and conclusions. We do currently observer it to be flat like a pond though (through 3 dimensional space however), as you say.

      Though my confidence is on information theory, and the entirety of "universe" being the observable one, including our observed quantum probabilities. No magic alternate universe, time travel or other side of that ripple. Sorry.

    3. SAdams

      Re: The edge is nothing more than a ripple in the pond

      “We had a big bang and our universe is inside the center of that ripple. There are others, well outside what we can see beyond the ripple.”

      No one has a shred of evidence that there is anything more than one universe. We have many anomalies and we have theories that try to explain those anomalies by inventing other universes.

      Because a similar trick can help theories on both quantum and cosmological scales, its a popular speculation. Its just as likely that there is only a single universe that originated along with time and space at the big bang. If anyone tells you that there are definitely other universes, unless they can prove they are from the future where there have been some big discoveries, then you can be fairly sure that they are either guessing or making stuff up.

  13. E 2

    Everyone is running away from...

    TRUMP!

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Everyone is running away from...

      Pssst.... <whispers> this is astronomy and not politics. The forum you seek is over there ------>

    2. beep54

      Re: Everyone is running away from...

      Ya know, that really would explain a few things.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Or in this case

    Dark matter is only one *possible* explanation, MOND/MiHsC, entropic gravity, entanglement wormhole cascade, the list goes on and on.

    In fact, I came up with a variant this morning, perhaps the "missing" matter in the Universe is entangled antimatter, exerting a weak negative (ie repulsive) gravity on empty space.

    The sheer amounts involved are staggering, also explains the 511keV spikes.

    (see new paper to be released around April)

    In related news, was "The Word", KABOOM? Film at 11.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Or in this case

      Cannot be Antimatter, as we would observe its collisions with normal matter.

      I think we would have to do what Newton or Einstein did. Throw out all current understanding, but only temporarily, and start from the bottom up with an observation.

      Newton used the observation of an object in motion, and integrated it into the current data.

      Einstein used the observation of time/gravity dilatation of Mercury, and integrated it into the current data.

      Many others did this with QM and red shift etc. We now need to do it with QM and Gravity, or Expansion and size of the universe etc.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Or in this case

      "(see new paper to be released around April)"

      I can't wait to read it!

      You know, like RFC8140 and its predecessors.

  15. ashdav

    We don't know

    There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,

    Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

    #Bill from the Midlands

    1. Danny 2 Silver badge

      Re: We don't know

      I cannot do it without Compters. [A Winter’s Tale]

  16. Robert Forsyth

    Gravitational time dilation

    The further away the faster time flows

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Possibly.

      However, that needs to be integrated back into a relative system.

      As if both me and you stand a distance apart, how can we both go through time faster? Which one is furthest away from the other? (It gets more complicated with 3 or 4 or 5 people! :D )

      We need complementary light cones. :(

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Possibly.

        distance from gravitational center of the universe as "a factor" - how's that?

        as I understand it, we're pretty close to that gravitational center (which should be the place the big bang happened). At least, that's what it looks like from our perspective.

        /me wonders if the big bang made a mushroom cloud... thus, icon choice [ok it didn't because 'ground' and 'gravity' are needed to make a proper mushroom cloud, but it's still lame-funny]

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

          Re: Possibly.

          "as I understand it, we're pretty close to that gravitational center (which should be the place the big bang happened)"

          Really? If that's the case then I'm suddenly very skeptical. How many explosions have you witnessed where all the material stayed in the middle? There should be a bloody great big hole in the middle of our universe. If there isn't, then I don't see how it could have started with a bang.

          1. PaulFrederick

            Re: Possibly.

            The Big Bang was an explosion like none other since. So it cannot be compared against other explosions that have happened since then either. The Big Bang did something that no other explosion has. It created reality as we now know it. Although not immediately. It took hundreds of millions of years for things to cool down enough for matter, time and space to even exist. Before that it was just an expanding ball of energy. That's what's so strange about the event. It was a singular occurrence in our reckoning. What it did is nothing short of completely astonishing too. Every mote of dust in this whole Universe owes its very existence to that one moment. We are the echo. An aftershock? I am not boffin enough to know.

        2. tfb Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: Possibly.

          There is no 'gravitational centre' and the big bang did not happen at a particular place: it happened everywhere.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Possibly.

            "There is no 'gravitational centre' and the big bang did not happen at a particular place: it happened everywhere"

            So could the "bang" have been a supernova and we are part of the debris, said star now being the black hole at the centre?

            Would that not simplify it all, multiple bangs in multiple places

  17. Alan Sharkey

    Something's not right here.

    How can it be accelerating? That implies a force pushing on it. If it were this mythical dark matter, then that would need to

    a) be constantly created behind the expanding edge (because we know there's nothing beyond the edge)

    b) employ anti-gravity to 'push' the stars out from behind.

    So, go on - explain it in simple terms.

    1. Phil Endecott Silver badge

      Re: Something's not right here.

      > How can it be accelerating? That implies a force pushing on it.

      That is certainly how Newton would have thought about it.

    2. Scroticus Canis
      Happy

      Re: Something's not right here - explain it in simple terms

      For simplicity assume the Plank length is the smallest quanta of space-time.

      The expansion of the universe appears to be that the quanta of space-time in areas with minimal matter/gravitation (intergalactic voids) spontaneously split into two new "lumps" of space time at a given rate or spontaneously get created (makes little odds).

      After a while there is now more space between the galaxies, thus they all appear to be moving away from each other. The galaxies are not necessarily "moving" in relation to each other, it's the space (distance) between them that is growing.

      Galactic clusters cover huge areas (volumes) but the common gravity between the galaxies seemingly prevents the space-time between them expanding. Our own galactic cluster is actually moving in a concerted direction measured against the rest of universe even though the individual galaxies are moving relative to each other.

      Dark energy has not been observed working at smaller scales, such as within galactic clusters, galaxies, or down at the atomic level. For the much touted big rip to happen dark energy would have to increase many many fold to the point where it could overcome not just weak gravity but the binding energy of the strong force in baryons.

      That's my simplistic view of how it works. Works for me :)

      1. Long John Brass Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Something's not right here - explain it in simple terms

        <blockquoute>spontaneously split into two new "lumps" of space time at a given rate or spontaneously get created</blockquoute>

        That wouldn't explain the red-shift though would it? If this was true then yes, light would take longer than expected to get from point A to point B. But what we see is light being "stretched"; Doesn't this imply that the underlying fabric the light passes though is getting "longer"?

        /Paris as I'm guessing her ideas on this are about as valid as mine :(

    3. stephanh Silver badge

      Re: Something's not right here.

      "How can it be accelerating? That implies a force pushing on it. "

      1. Stuff is accelerating.

      2. That means something is pushing it.

      3. We have no clue what it is.

      4. Let's call it "dark energy", because that sounds more sciency than "Fluffy the Terrible".

      What "dark energy" actually is is unknown, except that it is by definition the stuff which is pushing away the galaxies from us.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        Re: Something's not right here.

        "What "dark energy" actually is is unknown, except that it is by definition the stuff which is pushing away the galaxies from us"

        Baryonic birds?

  18. DCFusor Silver badge

    Fudge factor

    I'm actually a scientist, though not in cosmology. But to many of us, all this dark stuff looks like fudge factor and curve fitting - just add some magic thing so we can make things add up without actually understanding the underlying.

    After all, you could curve-fit Newtons equations for things going really fast, like near the speed of light, but it wouldn't have given you relativity - it was the underlying idea that then gave the reason for the fudge, as well as the form, not the other way around.

    I bet it's not dark once the probably head-slappingly-obvious-in-hindsight truth is discovered.

    Just a feeling from long experience. I'd quote Pauli - "that's not even wrong" to these jokers.

    1. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

      Re: Fudge factor

      Not my field either although I've been several sorts of field engineer. I rather suspect that we're going to find that the effects we are attributing to "dark matter" and "dark energy" will, in fact, be due to black holes. That's intuition which means it could be horribly wrong.

    2. Aquatyger

      Re: Fudge factor

      Dark matter is just another Biga Banga fudge factor. The structure of the universe seems to extend well past the 13 billion years time frame.

  19. Chemical Bob
    Trollface

    the universe is expanding a little bit faster than expected

    Bedder getta ice pack on dat t'ing or yule never get da swellin' unner control!

  20. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge
    Boffin

    Osborne's Law

    Variables won’t; constants aren’t.

  21. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge

    2011 Nobel Prize (Reiss, Perlmutter, and Schmidt)

    @article: "for the discovery of the expanding universe"

    Surely you mean "for the discovery that the Universe's expansion is accelerating".

    1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      Re: 2011 Nobel Prize (Reiss, Perlmutter, and Schmidt)

      Did you email them a correction before posting? It's polite.

      Anyway, the reason for this is obvious. It's the Russians. They get everywhere these days.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Black Helicopters

        Re: 2011 Nobel Prize (Reiss, Perlmutter, and Schmidt)

        " It's the Russians. They get everywhere these days."

        you haven't heard the newest conspiracy then: It's really the Chinese government _PRETENDING_ to be Russians... with help from the NSA, so they can later blame the North Koreans.

  22. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    Does this mean it's OK to say the Earth might be flatter than originally thought?

    1. Long John Brass Silver badge

      No, but the universe is :)

  23. aberglas

    Isn't that what Dark Energy is?

    That the expansion of the universe is speeding up, rather than slowing down due to gravity. So one would expect measurements based on the background radiation to be slower than measurements based on existing stars?

  24. KBeee
    Joke

    Cosmology

    The Universe is like an erection - the more you think about it, the harder it gets

  25. stephanh Silver badge
    Headmaster

    km per second per megaparsec ?

    This unit was perchance invented by the same people who measure battery charge in milliAmpere-hour?

    This is just a frequency: 73 km per second per megaparsec = 2.4e-18 Hz. That is the rate at which the universe expands with a factor e. In other words, if you sample the distance between two galaxies with a frequency of 2.4e-18 Hz, it increases with a factor e between a sample point and the next.

    They could at least have eliminated the redundant SI prefixes and call it 73 mm per second per parsec.

  26. Snowy
    Coat

    Looking at it differently

    The Planck’s mission used leftover cosmic microwave background radiation to map the sky just after the big bang and got 67km per second per megaparsec. The second study improved on previous Hubble results by including more stars and peering 10 times farther into space and got 73km per second per megaparsec, differs from Planck’s by 9 per cent.

    Considering if when you look further away it is further into the past then instead of speeding up it is slowing down?

  27. DougS Silver badge

    Since spacetime itself is expanding

    The explanation for it, changes in its rate, and energy making it happen don't necessarily have to be found within our universe at all! Take the oft-cited example of inflation as blowing up a balloon, with our universe represented by the 2D outer surface of the balloon. The cause of the inflation and source of the energy making it happen are outside that "universe".

    Maybe the surprisingly high vacuum energy we observe is tension as spacetime is stretched - and if we measure closely enough for long enough we may see that value increase as time passes.

  28. Qwertius

    The Unverse is Brexiting

    Enough with this corner of the Universe ------ We're off to see the Wizard....

  29. Chris Coles

    Space is not empty as Gravity cannot disconnect

    Gravity is a constant and there is no one trying to say that gravity can be disconnected. In which case, the force of gravity must exist throughout the universe. If a force called gravity exists throughout the universe, then the space between mass in deep space; cannot be empty. If space is not empty, then every photon traveling through space must be traveling through the force called gravity. So the challenge was to describe what gravity is and how it worked.

    Mass is formed from protons, thus, for the gravitational properties of mass to exist, the proton must be gravitationally connected to another proton. But we are told that the negative electron balances the positive proton and as such, all gas molecules, (especially including all gas molecules in space), are thus free to travel without contact with each other. Ergo; Ideal Gas Law tells us that temperature and pressure are related to the speed of impact of the gas molecule upon the walls of the container. Again, nucleosynthesis demands the speed of impact between atoms of mass as the primary driving force for the creation of elements. So now we have to accept a mismatch between science and logic. Gravity cannot be disconnected and thus is always a force between protons; yet gas molecules are totally disconnected from each other.

    From that starting point, it came to me that there is no such thing as a Black Particle; a particle with no external observable field, that if we can observe the proton it must exhibit an external field; and thus the modern depiction of the electromagnetic properties of the proton within a gas molecule, do not conform to the rules for electromagnetism, as laid down by James Clerk Maxwell. That a positive field always seeks the closest negative potential or extends to infinity and that, as the gravitational properties of the Earth extend beyond the Moons orbit, then a small proportion of the positive field of the proton, must extend beyond the orbit of the proton's electron and that in turn, brings the electromagnetic force field of the proton into conformance with James Clerk Maxwell. In which case, the next closest negative potential must the an adjacent proton's electron. Logic demands the question; is gravity caused by the surplus positive electromagnetic force field of a proton, extending beyond the orbit of that proton's electron, to attach to the next closest proton's electron?

    If that logic is correct, then deep space is full of the electromagnetic force field attachments between all the protons, forming the nucleus within all the gas molecules, in deep space; and thus all photons must be traveling through these electromagnetic force field attachments. In which case, Red Shift denotes distance traveled by the photon, rather than speed of movement of the source of the photon. That in turn drove the creation of a completely new model for the electromagnetic force field structure within the proton; that now fully complies conformance with Maxwell.

    Ergo the title: The Universe is a Cloud of Surplus Proton Energy.

  30. Poeteye

    COSMIC RECALCULATION

    -- to Dr. Wendy L. Freedman

    In the cosmos, a crisis brews today,

    regarding the standard model that’s held.

    “Things expand too fast,” astronomers say,

    “The Hubble constant is being excelled.

    “We’ve graphed predictions and made a table,

    but Expansion’s chosen another path.

    Unfortunately, we are unable

    to force Creation to follow our math.

    “The discrepancy’s nearly nine percent,

    between expectations and what we view.”

    This causes cosmologists to lament,

    “We may need physics entirely new.”

    This prospect prompts a great consternation,

    since starting fresh brings small consolation.

  31. Catweazle666

    So Finagle's constant (defined as the ratio between the number you expected and the number you actually got) has been found to be in error by 9%...

    It's all total bollox anyway.

  32. PaulFrederick

    This all just goes to show

    That the more you know, the more you know of that you don't know. Every discovery only leads to new questions. There's a theory of expanding ignorance in here somewhere.

  33. JCitizen
    Devil

    Since they really don't know...

    I can say about anything and possibly be right! All this pushing and shoving by a big bang - what if it is actually a giant sucking bulbous cleft in the universe, that is PULLING us apart in space time. There wouldn't need to be a big band would there? - but the rift in the middle of it all would probably still explode for all the rapid vacuum cause by the horrible sucking rift at the edge of the universe!! HA! HA HA! Good thing the crazy houses have been closed, or I'd be a patient! LOL!

  34. adam 40
    Facepalm

    unlikely that this is not a bug...

    ... no, because there aren't any problems with the data from the A-D convertors...

    Oh... hang on a minute...

  35. David Michael

    There is now a very simple way to calculate Hubble’s Constant, by inputting to an equation, the numerical value of Pi and the speed of light (C) from Maxwell’s equations, and the value of a parsec. NO space probe measurements (with their inevitable small measuring / interpretation errors) are now required. Hubble’s Constant is ‘fixed’ at 70.98047 PRECISELY. This maths method removes the errors / tolerances that is always a part of attempting to measuring something as ‘elusive’ as Hubble’s Constant. This has very deep implications for theoretical cosmology.

    The equation to perform this is :- 2 X a meg parsec X light speed (C). This total is then divided by Pi to the power of 21. This gives 70.98047 kilometres per sec per meg parsec.

    The equation to perform this can also be found in ‘The Principle of Astrogeometry’ on Amazon Kindle Books. This also explains how the Hubble 70.98047 ‘fixing’ equation was found. David.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019