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Honing the Hubble

New value supports finding that dark energy does not vary with time

12:34pm, May 5, 2008

BALTIMORE — Astronomers are honing measurements of a familiar cosmic parameter to shed new light on dark energy, the mysterious entity that’s accelerating the universe’s rate of expansion.

Known as the Hubble constant, this parameter indicates the current rate at which distant astronomical objects are receding, a number that can be used to estimate the age of the universe.

A new measuring method has reduced uncertainty in the constant’s value by more than half, to 4.8 percent, Adam Riess of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore reporte

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