Hubble Constant for Speed of Universe Expansion Defined by Australian Student

Australia has determined how fast the Universe is expanding. A student planning to study a PhD, Florian Beutler, has measured the Hubble constant. This is a special number that enables measurement of the age and size of the Universe.

The Universe continues to expand with galaxies moving apart. Direction and speed that galaxies move are easy to measure, but distance of separation is more difficult. In the past, brightness of galaxies has been used to define this distance. Florian Beutler used data from a survey carried out with the UK's Schmidt Telescope to make calculations using a new method.

Galaxies are in clusters throughout the Universe. The 6dF survey provided information about these clusters which enabled distant to be defined with an error of less than 5 per cent. The speed of expansion is very close to the figure determined by other methods. The Hubble constant is 67.0 +/- 3.2 km s-1 Mpc-1.
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