Nasa says 'something weird' is happening in the Universe as it analyzes new Hubble Telescope data

THE universe is expanding at a strange rate, new data from the Hubble Space Telescope suggests.

Nasa on Thursday revealed that the Hubble Space Telescope completed a nearly 30-year marathon of data collection.

With this data, Hubble was able to identify dozens of markers for space and time to help scientists measure the expansion rate of the universe.

However, the more precise those measures become over the years, the more they indicate that "something weird" is happening in space, Nasa said.

There is a huge discrepancy between the universe's current rate of expansion compared to observations from right after the Big Bang.

Scientists are unable to explain this phenomenon, which they say "predicts a different expansion value," per Nasa.

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"The cause of this discrepancy remains a mystery."

"But Hubble data, encompassing a variety of cosmic objects that serve as distance markers, support the idea that something weird is going on, possibly involving brand new physics."

Researchers have been studying the universe's expansion rate since the 1920s using measurements by astronomers Edwin P. Hubble and Georges Lemaître.

In 1998, this led to the discovery of dark energy, which Nasa describes as "a mysterious repulsive force accelerating the universe's expansion".

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And now, thanks to data from Hubble and other space telescopes, astronomers have been able to expand on those initial observations.

"You are getting the most precise measure of the expansion rate for the universe from the gold standard of telescopes and cosmic mile markers," said Nobel Laureate Adam Riess of the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) and the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

"This is what the Hubble Space Telescope was built to do, using the best techniques we know to do it."

When Hubble started gathering information about the universe’s expansion the figure was quicker than models had predicted.

Astronomers thought that it should be about 67.5 kilometers per second per megaparsec, give or take 0.5 – but observations find that it is around 73.

These findings indicate that the rate of expansion is more convoluted than researchers initially thought.

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Scientists hope to use Nasa's new James Webb Space Telescope to study the expansion rate further.

Meanwhile, Reiss said that this new data is likely Hubble's "magnum opus" – a Latin term that describes one's most important work.

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