A group of researchers from the University of California has published a new paper that goes against the standard model of the rate at which the universe expands.
After the Big Bang, the universe started to expand, and that process continues today.
During the early 20th century, Edwin Hubble discovered that the universe continues to expand at an accelerated rate when he observed that all the galaxies which were visible in the sky seemed to move away from Earth.
Other astronomers have realized that instead of moving away from us, the space between Earth and the galaxies increases as the universe expands. The speed at which the universe expands is known as the Hubble constant, named after the famous astronomer. However, researchers cannot agree on the exact details of the constant and a new measurement suggests that the expansion rate is too fast.
During the elaboration of the paper, the researchers conducted a blind analysis, to keep the result a surprise until all the possible errors were eliminated. When they decided that all the possible errors were removed they decided to publish the result, even if some members of the team thought that it could be unusual.
The researchers discovered that the was a value that was in synch with the Hubble Constant based on objects which are close to Earth. The list of local objects includes supernovae when a star explodes at the end of the lifecycle and becomes a black hole or a neutron star.
The main problem with the current data is that it joins a selection of other studies and papers which argue that there are different rates of universal expansion during different periods in time. At some point the expansion rate started to slow down, but the pace has started to accelerate again due to the influence of dark energy.
The paper was published in a scientific journal.