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Conflict in Hubble constant continues to confound astronomers

The uncertainty of science: In reviewing their measurements of the Hubble constant using a variety of proxy distance tools, such as distant supernovae, astronomers recently announced that their numbers must be right, even though those numbers do not match the Hubble constant measured using completely different tools.

Most measurements of the current acceleration of the universe (called the Hubble constant, or H0) based on stars and other objects relatively close to Earth give a rate of 73 km/s/Mpc. These are referred to as “late-time” measurements [the same as confirmed by the astronomers in the above report]. On the other hand, early-time measurements, which are based on the cosmic microwave background emitted just 380,000 years after the Big Bang, give a smaller rate of 68 km/s/Mpc.

They can’t both be right. Either something is wrong with the standard cosmological model for our universe’s evolution, upon which the early-time measurements rest, or something is wrong with the way scientists are working with late-time observations.

The astronomers are now claiming that their late-time observations must be right, which really means there is either something about the present theories about the Big Bang that are fundamentally wrong and that our understanding of early cosmology is very incomplete, or the measurements by everyone are faulty.

Based on the number of assumptions used with both measurements, it is not surprising the results don’t match. Some of those assumptions are certainly wrong, but to correct the error will require a lot more data that will only become available when astronomers have much bigger telescopes of all kinds, in space and above the atmosphere. Their present tools on Earth are insufficient for untangling this mystery.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!


From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


All editions available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors. The ebook can be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner. Note that the price for the ebook, $3.99, goes up to $5.99 on September 1, 2022.


Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.


  • wayne

    “What’s wrong with physics?”
    Sabine Hossenfelder (June 2021)

  • wayne

    Big Bang Theory; 4 Interpretations
    Roger Penrose, Sabine Hossenfelder, Sean Carroll, Chris Impey

  • wayne: Interpretations at present are generally not very interesting to me, because I think the data is so incomplete and filled with gaps and assumptions that the interpretations are mostly guesses.

    We need more data, and the only way we are going to get it is to get more telescopes of all kinds into space.

  • Skunk Bucket

    Wait, I was told the Big Bang theory was “settled” science.

  • Col Beausabre

    “They can’t both be right. Either something is wrong with the standard cosmological model for our universe’s evolution, upon which the early-time measurements rest, or something is wrong with the way scientists are working with late-time observations.”

    I’d be willing to bet my entire Bitcoin fortune that BOTH are wrong

  • Andi

    How precise are these measurements and how much is due to the use of the SWAG method? The difference between 68 and 73 is only about 7%.

  • wayne

    (Finally had a chance to actually read the article at S&T (!))

    it’s not just that the two numbers don’t match up beyond a certain error rate, the problem arises because they get 2 different numbers depending on what they are they are looking at.
    And even when those two numbers were ‘less precise,’ (or ‘less accurate’,) the problem they had was the error bars weren’t crossing each other.

    The Hubble Constant Controversy
    Adam Riess (May 2021)

    -This is a great summary filled with factoids and references to current data & papers.

  • Max

    Universe is expanding… Except where galaxies are collidIng…

    I strongly second the motion to put observatories in space, probably where triangulation at wide-angle’s can perform better measurements.

  • Universe is expanding… Except where galaxies are gravitationally bound together (i.e., smaller-scale groupings). Thus all the galaxies in our so-called Local Group of galaxies — including the Milky Way, M31 (Andromeda), and several dozen (mostly small) others — are not only not uniformly receding from one another, but are often approaching.

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