Scientists recently revealed that the universe expands at a quicker pace than it was previously believed.
Astronomers working with the Hubble Space Telescope stating that the universe is actually expanding five to nine per cent faster than thought.
The team, led by Nobel Prize winner Adam Reiss, discovered the quicker expansion rate by examining 19 pulsating stars, known as Cepheid stars.
They then compared the observed brightness of the stars with the actual brightness, with scientists then distinguishing said stars’ distance from supernovae in distant galaxies.
These distances were then compared to how light stretches from receding galaxies – which is how scientists measure how the universe is expanding.
The new rate, which is called the Hubble constant in honour of Edwin Hubble who first discovered that the universe is expanding in 1929, is between five and nine per cent faster at a pace of 73.2 kilometres per second per megaparsec.
The team say that dark energy may be forcing the universe to expand at a growing rate, or dark radiation – subatomic particles that travel at almost the speed of light – could be confusing previous readings.
Reiss said in a statement: “This surprising finding may be an important clue to understanding those mysterious parts of the universe that make up 95 per cent of everything and don’t emit light, such as dark energy, dark matter, and dark radiation.
“If we know the initial amounts of stuff in the universe, such as dark energy and dark matter, and we have the physics correct, then you can go from a measurement at the time shortly after the big bang and use that understanding to predict how fast the universe should be expanding today.
“However, if this discrepancy holds up, it appears we may not have the right understanding, and it changes how big the Hubble constant should be today.”