1 Dec 1998
'MIRAGE' USED TO MEASURE AGE OF UNIVERSE
An international team led by a young Australian scientist has used
to measure how fast the Universe is expanding - and
found it to be both older and larger than previously thought.
The expansion is measured as a number called the
Hubble Constant. It is used
to calculate how big and how old the Universe is.
The observing team used a new method that avoids the built-in uncertainties
in older methods and found the universe to be 15 billion years old.
Astronomers have been wrangling over the value of the Hubble Constant -- a
number that indicates the expansion rate of the universe and hence its age
-- for several decades. Measuring it is a key problem that the Hubble Space
Telescope was built to solve.
"Our value is about 20% lower than the one got with the Hubble Space
Telescope in 1994," said Dr Jim Lovell, leader of the team that made the
Dr David Jauncey, CSIRO.
Tel: (02) 6216 7220 (B.H.)
Dr Jim Lovell, Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, Japan.
Tel: (+81) 427-59-8346