HomeAstronomyLargest-ever map of 56,000 galaxies is demystifying the universe

Largest-ever map of 56,000 galaxies is demystifying the universe

The night sky may look deceptively still, but the universe is constantly expanding, which means everything keeps trekking through the void. Now, a new map of the distances of tens of thousands of galaxies is helping researchers calculate the universe’s age and expansion rate with unprecedented precision.

The universe is thought to be about 13.8 billion years old, but objects such as the star Methuselah, which appears to be even older, have raised questions about this estimate. To calculate the expansion rate of the universe, scientists use a unit of measurement known as the Hubble constant, which is estimated to be about 46.6 miles per second for every megaparsec, or 3.26 million light-years. But that expansion rate also presents a conundrum, since different approaches to calculating it yield different values. 

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