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Cosmic lenses Bring the Universe’s Expansion into Sharper Focus

| Science

Figure: Gravitational lensed quasars studied by H0LiCOW collaboration
Figure: Gravitational lensed quasars studied by H0LiCOW collaboration. Original Size (479KB)

By using distant galaxies as giant gravitational lenses, an international group of astronomers has made an independent measurement of how fast the Universe is expanding. The study was enabled by a powerful combination of ground-based telescopes including those on Maunakea – Subaru Telescope, Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, Gemini Observatory, and W. M. Keck Observatory – as well as the space based NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and Spitzer Space Telescope. The newly measured expansion rate for the local Universe has incredibly high accuracy and is consistent with earlier findings. These independent measurements of the Hubble constant offer insights into the overall structure of the Universe. Dr. Kenneth C. Wong of NAOJ is a part of the H0LiCOW collaboration and led an key part of the analysis.

This research will be presented in a series of papers to appear in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

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