This illustration shows three steps astronomers used to measure the universe's expansion rate (Hubble constant) to an unprecedented accuracy, reducing the total uncertainty to 2.3 percent. The measurements streamline and strengthen the construction of the cosmic distance ladder, which is used to measure accurate distances to galaxies near to and far from Earth. The latest Hubble study extends the number of Cepheid variable stars analyzed to distances of up to 10 times farther across our galaxy than previous Hubble results. Credits: NASA, ESA, A. Feild (STScI), and A. Riess (STScI/JHU)
In this series we are exploring the weird and wonderful world of astronomy jargon! If only there was a way to measure the distance to today’s topic: standard candles! Continue reading “Astronomy Jargon 101: Standard Candles”
Collisions of neutron stars produce powerful gamma-ray bursts – and heavy elements like gold (Credit: Dana Berry, SkyWorks Digital, Inc.)
Neutron stars scream in waves of spacetime when they die, and astronomers have outlined a plan to use their gravitational agony to trace the history of the universe. Join us as we explore how to turn their pain into our cosmological profit.
Continue reading “Gravitational waves were only recently observed, and now astronomers are already thinking of ways to use them: like accurately measuring the expansion rate of the Universe”