The universe we live in is so dynamic and expansive that we may not be able to keep up with it unless we make constant adjustments to our theories about its mechanisms. Astronomers have suggested that with the new rate at which the universe is expanding, scientists may need to revise their theories and add new physics to accommodate the rapid cosmic expansion.
The revised expansion rate is about 10% faster than that predicted by observations of the universe's trajectory shortly after the Big Bang, according to the new research. The study also significantly reduces the probability that this disparity is a coincidence, from 1 in 3,000 to just 1 in 100,000.
"This mismatch has been growing and has now reached a point that is really impossible to dismiss as a fluke," study lead author Adam Riess, a professor of physics and astronomy at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, said in a statement.
It's unclear what's driving this surprising acceleration, but many astronomers invoke a mysterious, repulsive force called dark energy.
After making observations and gathering data, Riess and his colleagues recalculated the Hubble constant and found the new figure to be 46 miles (74.03 kilometers) per second per megaparsec, which is quite different from the expected rate which was about 41.9 miles (67.4 km) per second per megaparsec.
(Image credit: NASA/Unsplash)