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Space Science

New Study Shows Universe Still Expanding On Schedule 173

Posted by timothy
from the every-time-you-jump-it-screws-things-up dept.
The Bad Astronomer writes "A century ago, astronomers (including Edwin Hubble) discovered the Universe was expanding. Using the same methods — but this time with observations from an orbiting infrared space telescope — a new study confirms this expansion, and nails the rate with higher precision than done before. If you're curious, the expansion rate found was 74.3 +/- 2.1 kilometers per second per megaparsec — almost precisely in line with previous measurements."
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New Study Shows Universe Still Expanding On Schedule

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  • by MightyMartian (840721) on Thursday October 04, 2012 @07:02PM (#41553965) Journal

    The universe could be a compact manifold, in which case it isn't expanding into anything. That would fit with the essential notion that it is space itself that is expanding.

  • Re:Units (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sconeu (64226) on Thursday October 04, 2012 @07:28PM (#41554117) Homepage Journal

    Interestingly, some back of the envelope calculations (using rough numbers ... 300000km/s for c, 75km/s/mpc for Hubble's Constant, and 3.25 ly/pc) gives a value of roughly 13 billion light years for the recession velocity to approach c. 13 billion years is also *ROUGHLY* the age of the visible universe.

  • Re:Units (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Relic of the Future (118669) <dales@nOsPaM.digitalfreaks.org> on Thursday October 04, 2012 @07:30PM (#41554135)
    In the vein of xkcd-what-if #11 [xkcd.com], I wonder about the physical meaning of kilometers per second per megaparsec. Kilometer and megaparsec are both lengths, so you can divide them out by the conversion factor (1 megaparsec = 3.08567758 × 10^19 kilometers) and then you are left with "per second", i.e., a frequency. A frequency of about 240 billion gigahertz. What, if anything, does that mean?
  • Re:Units (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ImprovOmega (744717) on Thursday October 04, 2012 @07:53PM (#41554289)
    That can't be right. The universe is about 14,000 megaparsecs in radius, even if we were at the exact center that would have things traveling outward at 1.04E9 m/s or 3.46c. I'm reasonably certain they're not claiming FTL on this one so... Is it actually 74.3 m/s instead of 74.3 km/s? Or is there something else going on here?
  • by shoor (33382) on Thursday October 04, 2012 @08:42PM (#41554569)

    Something I've been wondering about, but never knew quite where to ask. (Maybe this isn't the place either, but I'll give it a shot.)

    i understand (or at least parse the semantic meaning) that the speed of light through space is fixed, and space can expand fasterthan that. Normally, it seems that the speed of information transmission is also tied to the speed of light, mainly I presume, because paradoxes would arise if it weren't. But can information travel across space at an effective speed uninfluenced by the expansion of space without causing paradoxes? Is it possible that information could still reach us even if light could not?

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