Today, the Hubble Space Telescope Key Project team revealed that it had successfully measured the exact distances to distant galaxies, a necessary step in determining the age, size, and future of the universe.
According to NASA, this recent image was captured to track the periodic brightness changes of Cepheid variable stars. The brightness of the star has a direct impact on this process. These variations allow researchers to estimate how far a galaxy may be from Earth.
NGC 6956 is a galaxy located 214 million light-years from Earth. It is sometimes referred to as a barred galaxy after a distinct “bar” of stars that can be seen cutting through the galaxy’s center.
In the universe, barred galaxies are responsible for about 70% of all galaxies. Barred galaxies evolve into more distinct spiral galaxies over time. A Type Ia supernova, which occurs when a white dwarf star explodes after absorbing material from another star nearby is also visible in the galaxy. These supernovae aid in estimating the distance to distant galaxies. These measurements aid in determining the rate of the universe’s expansion.
The galaxies are travelling in space rather than across space because space itself is moving. In other words, everything is drifting away from everything else and there is no centre to the globe. If you picture a grid of space, a galaxy would be spaced out at a million light years. After enough time has passed, the grid will expand until the galaxies are spaced two million light years apart, and so on, potentially indefinitely.
The Hubble Constant connects the apparent recession velocities of distant galaxies to their distance. It is the single number that characterizes the rate of cosmic expansion and gives the Hubble Space Telescope its name in honor of Edwin Hubble.