Named after the astronomer Edwin Hubble, the Hubble Space Telescope was built in the 1970s by the United States Space Agency (NASA) with the financial backing of the European Space Agency. The Hubble Space Telescope was launched in 1990 into the Earth’s low orbit, making it a critical research tool for scientists.
However, scientists at NASA are baffled by Hubble’s discovery as the Space Telescope’s data of its nearly 30-year voyage of documenting and calibrating what NASA calls is more than 40 milepost markers to precisely measure the universe’s rate of expansion.
NASA’s scientists studying data from the Hubble Telescope have concluded that “something weird” is going on with our universe, as scientists cannot explain why the universe is expanding. Although scientists are saying that the unexplained and yet to be understood phenomena can be a result of a new physics, they hope NASA’s latest and most powerful space telescope, the James Webb Space Telescope, which was recently launched in 2021, might offer new data as it’s capable of seeing new and even far away mileposts.
Research into the universe’s expansion rate began back in the 1920s with the measurements of astronomers Edwin Hubble and Georges Lemaitre. However, when in 1998, the Hubble Space Telescope’s observation of a distant supernova showed that the universe was expanding as opposed to scientists’ belief that the universe was slowing due to gravity. Still, scientists cannot explain why the universe is expanding or what is causing it.
While scientists couldn’t agree on the theories that could explain the reason for the universe’s expansion, they called the phenomena behind the expansion “dark energy.” The only thing scientists know about dark energy is how it affects the universe and nothing else. So it’s a complete mystery. However, It turns out that about 68% of the universe is comprised of dark energy and 27% dark matter.
Normal matter, the Earth, and everything on it, including everything humanity has ever observed with every new and old technology, amounts to less than 5% of the universe. This underscores that the little knowledge we possess of the universe and the insignificant portion of the universe we occupy is quite humbling.
While the only explanation NASA has for this new revelation is just something “weird” is going on, what is weirder is that we don’t concretely even know why or what is causing it. After all our achievements as a species, the Hubble Space Telescope’s data confirms Socrates’s old saying, “I know only one thing: that I know nothing.