Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Hubble constant: A new way to measure the expansion of the universe

Date:
July 27, 2011
Source:
International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research
Summary:
Using a measurement of the clustering of the galaxies surveyed, plus other information derived from observations of the early universe, researchers have measured the Hubble constant with an uncertainly of less than 5 percent. The new work draws on data from a survey of more than 125,000 galaxies.

The 6df Galaxy Survey data, each dot is a galaxy and Earth is at the center of the sphere.
Credit: Image courtesy of International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research

Using a measurement of the clustering of the galaxies surveyed, plus other information derived from observations of the early universe, researchers have measured the Hubble constant with an uncertainly of less than 5 percent. The new work draws on data from a survey of more than 125,000 galaxies.

A PhD student from The International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) in Perth has produced one of the most accurate measurements ever made of how fast the Universe is expanding.

Florian Beutler, a PhD candidate with ICRAR at the University of Western Australia, has calculated how fast the Universe is growing by measuring the Hubble constant.

"The Hubble constant is a key number in astronomy because it's used to calculate the size and age of the Universe," said Mr Beutler.

As the Universe swells, it carries other galaxies away from ours. The Hubble constant links how fast galaxies are moving with how far they are from us.

By analysing light coming from a distant galaxy, the speed and direction of that galaxy can be easily measured. Determining the galaxy's distance from Earth is much more difficult. Until now, this has been done by observing the brightness of individual objects within the galaxy and using what we know about the object to calculate how far away the galaxy must be.

This approach to measuring a galaxy's distance from Earth is based on some well-established assumptions but is prone to systematic errors, leading Mr Beutler to tackle the problem using a completely different method.

Published July 26 in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Mr Beutler's work draws on data from a survey of more than 125,000 galaxies carried out with the UK Schmidt Telescope in eastern Australia. Called the 6dF Galaxy Survey, this is the biggest survey to date of relatively nearby galaxies, covering almost half the sky.

Galaxies are not spread evenly through space, but are clustered. Using a measurement of the clustering of the galaxies surveyed, plus other information derived from observations of the early Universe, Mr Beutler has measured the Hubble constant with an uncertainly of less than 5%.*

"This way of determining the Hubble constant is as direct and precise as other methods, and provides an independent verification of them," says Professor Matthew Colless, Director of the Australian Astronomical Observatory and one of Mr Beutler's co-authors. "The new measurement agrees well with previous ones, and provides a strong check on previous work."

The measurement can be refined even further by using data from larger galaxy surveys.

"Big surveys, like the one used for this work, generate numerous scientific outcomes for astronomers internationally," says Professor Lister Staveley-Smith, ICRAR's Deputy Director of Science.

* The new measurement of the Hubble constant is 67.0 3.2 km s-1 Mpc-1


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Florian Beutler et al. The 6dF Galaxy Survey: Baryon Acoustic Oscillations and the Local Hubble Constant. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 25 July 2011 DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.19250.x

Cite This Page:

International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research. "Hubble constant: A new way to measure the expansion of the universe." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110726101719.htm>.
International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research. (2011, July 27). Hubble constant: A new way to measure the expansion of the universe. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110726101719.htm
International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research. "Hubble constant: A new way to measure the expansion of the universe." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110726101719.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Space & Time News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nuclear-Level Asteroids Might Be More Common Than We Realize

Nuclear-Level Asteroids Might Be More Common Than We Realize

Newsy (Apr. 23, 2014) The B612 Foundation says asteroids strike Earth much more often than previously thought, and are hoping to build an early warning system. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
NASA Chief Outlines Plan for Human Mission to Mars

NASA Chief Outlines Plan for Human Mission to Mars

AFP (Apr. 22, 2014) NASA administrator Charles Bolden, speaking at the 'Human to Mars Summit' in Washington, says that learning more about the Red Planet can help answer the 'fundamental question' of 'life beyond Earth'. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nasa Gives You An Excuse to Post a Selfie on Earth Day

Nasa Gives You An Excuse to Post a Selfie on Earth Day

TheStreet (Apr. 22, 2014) NASA is inviting all social media users to take a selfie of themselves alongside nature and to post it to Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, or Google Plus with the hashtag #globalselfie. NASA's goal is to crowd-source a collection of snapshots of the earth, ground-up, that will be used to create one "unique mosaic of the Blue Marble." This image will be available to all in May. Since this is probably one of the few times posting a selfie to Twitter won't be embarrassing, we suggest you give it a go for a good cause. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
SpaceX's Dragon Spacecraft Captured by International Space Station

SpaceX's Dragon Spacecraft Captured by International Space Station

Reuters - US Online Video (Apr. 20, 2014) SpaceX's unmanned Dragon spacecraft makes a scheduled Easter Sunday rendezvous with the International Space Station. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins