Regardless of our will, we can’t measure the age of the Universe beyond the Big Bang. Although scientists would surely like to know a lot more about that ‘bang’, the theory still represents the best bet the science world has for describing how our Universe began its existence. Initially, scientists believed that our Universe began to exist 13.8 billion years ago, but new measurements are coming to contradict that claim.
A new research published in the Astronomical Journal (https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/1538-3881/ab9d88) comes to claim that the Universe is actually 1.2 billion years younger than scientists previously thought. The new surprising claim comes from a team from the University of Oregon, who had been tweaking the Hubble Constant, which was previously used for measuring the expansion rate of the Universe.
The baryonic Tully-Fisher relation could be the key
Professor Jim Schombert from the University of Oregon and his colleagues used a new approach by tweaking a distance-measuring tool named as the baryonic Tully-Fisher relation. The scientists measured the distances between 50 galaxies, using data from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, and thus they could determine the distances of 95 more galaxies.
The professor declared:
“The distance scale problem, as it is known, is incredibly difficult because the distances to galaxies are vast and the signposts for their distances are faint and hard to calibrate.”
The next step was to set the Hubble constant at 75.1 km per second per megaparsec (km/s/Mpc), having an uncertainty of 2.3. A parsec means a unit of length that equals about 3.3 light-years.
Scientists rely on the Big Bang Theory because of multiple reasons. Einstein’s equations of General Relativity predicted that all matter, time, and space were once shrunk down to the size of the tip of a needle. The discovery of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) also provides evidence that the Big Bang Theory was correct, as it’s none other than the leftover of the ‘bang’ itself. Last but not least, the permanent expansion of the Universe also suggests that it was once all cramped into a very small and dense structure.
But there are also plenty of scientific theories that suggest the Big Bang as being the beginning of just a small portion of the totality of space, time, and matter. The Universe could even be a million times bigger than what humanity is able to measure with the help of the most advanced telescopes. Furthermore, our reality could actually be composed of many other universes that together form the Multiverse, as it is claimed by the String Theory.
Candace Bailey is a reporter at The Trending Times, focusing on listicles, the games, technology, and everything in between. She is based in NYC, and previously was a reporter at the Daily’s city hall bureau.