SETI [Fwd: [META] news release - THE UNIVERSE MAY BE YOUNGER THAN PREVIOUSLYTHOUGHT]


Robert Owen (rowen@technologist.com)
Tue, 28 Sep 1999 14:14:25 -0400


Larry Klaes wrote:

> From: Larry Klaes <lklaes@bbn.com>
>
> >Resent-Date: Fri, 24 Sep 1999 16:49:30 -0700 (PDT)
> >Date: Fri, 24 Sep 1999 13:47:35 -0700 (PDT)
> >To: ames-releases@lists.arc.nasa.gov
> >From: John Bluck <jbluck@mail.arc.nasa.gov>
> >Subject: news release - THE UNIVERSE MAY BE YOUNGER THAN PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT
> >Resent-From: ames-releases@lists.arc.nasa.gov
> >X-Mailing-List: <ames-releases@lists.arc.nasa.gov> archive/latest/228
> >X-Loop: ames-releases@lists.arc.nasa.gov
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> >
> >Kathleen Burton Sept. 24, 1999
> >NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA
> >(Phone: 650/604-1731 or 650/604-9000)
> >kburton@mail.arc.nasa.gov
> >
> >NOTE TO EDITORS: 99-58
> >
> >NASA RESEARCHER FINDS EVIDENCE THAT THE UNIVERSE
> >MAY BE YOUNGER THAN PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT
> >
> > Dr. Eyal Maoz of NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA, and
> >astrophysicists from a variety of U.S. and Canadian institutions have found
> >evidence suggesting that the universe may be younger than scientists had
> >previously thought, and that it is expanding faster than expected. Their
> >findings are reported in the Sept. 23 issue of Nature magazine.
> >
> >Current estimates put the age of the universe at about 15 billion years.
> >Maoz' research indicates the universe may be as young as 12 billion years,
> >nearly the same age as its oldest stars. This implied relatively low age
> >of the universe revives an old paradox in the field of astrophysics that
> >the universe seems to be younger than some of the stars in it. The finding
> >suggests that a revision of the cosmological model may be required.
> >
> >Maoz and his team used the Hubble Space Telescope to observe the pulsing of
> >giant stars called 'Cepheid variables' in the galaxy NGC4258. Researchers
> >used a standard "Cepheid measurement" technique that allowed them to
> >measure the distance from Earth to the galaxy. However, this measurement
> >was different from another independent, highly accurate distance
> >determination to that galaxy made using masers (the microwave equivalent of
> >lasers), which are located at the galaxy center and orbiting a supermassive
> >black hole.
> >
> >A revision of the standard Cepheid measurement method would mean that
> >estimates for the age of the Universe would have to be revised downwards by
> >10-15%, experts say.
> >
> >Measuring galactic distances using Cepheid variables has been a standard
> >since 1929. They are useful because their rate of pulsation is closely
> >linked to their brightness. This means that a galaxys' apparent brightness
> >can be used to gauge its distance from Earth.
> >-more-
> >-2-
> >
> >Maoz and his colleagues used the Cepheid method to estimate the distance
> >from Earth to the benchmark NGC4258 galaxy as 8.1 megaparsecs (Mpc),
> >significantly farther than the geometric estimates derived by recent
> >estimates. (One Mpc is equivalent to approximately three million light
> >years.)
> >
> >"We discovered a considerable discrepancy between the maser-based and
> >Cepheid-based distance," Maoz said. "The bottom line is that it seems that
> >galaxy distances may have been consistently overestimated by about 12%.
> >This would imply that the universe is expanding faster than expected, and
> >the age of the universe is lower by a similar factor."
> >
> > -end-
> >
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> >
> >
> >
> >----
> >John Bluck
> >Information Systems Liaison (Public Affairs)
> >NASA Ames Office of External Affairs
> >(voice 650-604-5026) (fax 650-604-3953)
> >Mail stop 204-12, email: jbluck@mail.arc.nasa.gov
> >Moffett Field, CA, USA 94035-1000
> >----

=======================
Robert M. Owen
Director
The Orion Institute
57 W. Morgan Street
Brevard, NC 28712-3659 USA
=======================



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