“Researchers argue that it’s of utmost importance to unravel the nature of black holes, lest we someday begin to worship them,” said Harvard astrophysicist, Eric Chaisson. In April 2019 an event took place that was as epic as the Apollo 11 landing on the Moon, and may make Chaisson’s warning seem prescient.
Editor, Jackie Faherty, astrophysicist, Senior Scientist with AMNH. Jackie was formerly a NASA Hubble Fellow at the Carnegie Institution for Science. Aside from a love of scientific research, she is a passionate educator and can often be found giving public lectures in the Hayden Planetarium. Her research team has won multiple grants from NASA, NSF, and the Heising Simons foundation to support projects focused on characterising planet-like objects. She has also co-founded the popular citizen science project entitled Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 which invites the general public to help scan the solar neighbourhood for previously missed cold worlds. A Google Scholar, Faherty has over 100 peer reviewed articles in astrophysical journals and has been an invited speaker at universities and conferences across the globe. Jackie received the 2020 Vera Rubin Early Career Prize from the American Astronomical Society, an award that recognises scientists who have made an impact in the field of dynamical astronomy and the 2021 Robert H Goddard Award for science accomplishments.
Scientists have known for almost a century that the universe is expanding, meaning the distance between galaxies across the universe is becoming ever more vast every second. But exactly how fast space is stretching, a value known as the Hubble constant, has remained stubbornly elusive. Several recent studies that point to a nagging discrepancy between modern expansion measurements and predictions based on the universe as it was more than 13 billion years ago, as measured by the European Space Agency’s Planck satellite.
“The Hubble tension between the early and late universe may be the most exciting development in cosmology in decades,” said lead researcher and Nobel laureate Adam Riess of the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) and Johns Hopkins University, about new Hubble Space Telescope data that suggest a faster expansion rate in the modern universe than expected, based on how the universe appeared more than 13 billion years ago strengthening the case that new theories may be needed to explain the forces that have shaped the cosmos.