Age of the Universe - Research Article from Macmillan Science Library: Space Sciences

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Hubble's Contribution

In the early 1920s American astronomer Edwin P. Hubble was able to measure the distances to these receding objects by using a special class of mile-post marker stars called Cepheid variables. Hubble realized that these spiral nebulae were so far away they were actually galaxies—separate cities of stars—far beyond our own Milky Way.

By 1929, Hubble had made the momentous discovery that the farther away a galaxy is, the faster it is receding from Earth. This led him to conclude that galaxies are apparently moving away because space itself is expanding uniformly in all directions. Hubble reasoned that the galaxies must inevitably have been closer to each other in the distant past. Indeed, at some point they all must have occupied the same space. This idea led theoreticians to conceive of the notion of the Big Bang, the theory that the...

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This section contains 918 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Age of the Universe Encyclopedia Article
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Macmillan Science Library: Space Sciences
Age of the Universe from Macmillan Science Library: Space Sciences. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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