We’ve all misplaced monitor of time at one level or one other, however astronomers actually go all in. Recent research present they may have overestimated the age of the universe by extra than a billion years — a stunning realization that’s forcing them to rethink key components of the scientific story of how we received from the Big Bang to right this moment.
The misplaced time is very vexing as a result of, in a universe full of mysteries, its age has been considered as one of many few near-certainties. By 2013, the European Planck house telescope’s detailed measurements of cosmic radiation appeared to have yielded the ultimate reply: 13.8 billion years previous. All that was left to do was to confirm that quantity utilizing unbiased observations of vivid stars in different galaxies.
Then got here an surprising flip of occasions.
A few groups, together with one led by Nobel laureate Adam Riess of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, got down to make these observations. Instead of confirming Planck’s measurements, they began getting a distinctly totally different end result.
“It was attending to the purpose the place we say, ‘Wait a second, we’re not passing this take a look at — we’re failing the take a look at!'” says Riess, co-author of a new paper about the research to be published in Astrophysical Journal.
He estimates that his outcomes, taken at face worth, point out a universe that’s solely 12.5 billion to 13 billion years previous.