New Data Reveals Known Universe is Younger and Expanding Faster
Published Friday, the new data points to the known universe being an estimated 12.5-13 billion Earth years old, some one billion years younger than previously estimated by cosmologists.
Using data gleaned by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, the revised age and expansion estimates from Nobel Prize-winning astronomer Adam Riess brought the standard model of physics to a momentary halt, as scientists around the globe ponder the implications of the new information.
Our faster and younger universe is estimated by the use of a mathematical calculation known as the Hubble constant, a number defined in the early 20th century but now — thanks to Reiss and his new research — claimed to be some 9 percent higher than previously stated.
The new number directly affects humanity’s ability to guess at the age of the known universe, an integral physics calculation.
As both Riess and proponents of the earlier Hubble constant figure argue that their calculations are the right ones, many are calling for a new physics to define the new measurements.
“It’s looking more and more like we’re going to need something new to explain this,” noted Riess, a Johns Hopkins astronomer who won the 2011 Nobel Prize for physics.