Scientists Cut Uncertainty of the Size of the Universe in Half

April 10, 2015 4:13 PM

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The night sky has captivated people for as long as we have told stories. For millennia, mankind has sat in the dark and taken in the glorious spectacle of the stars and planets as they have marched across the sky. While we now know that space goes on essentially forever, it's important to remember that star gazing is inherently a two-dimensional endeavor. To all intents and purposes, the sky is like a giant television screen. We can precisely know the position of celestial objects on the tapestry of the heavens, but knowing how far away these objects are is much harder.

In our common experience, we can determine the distance of objects using our binocular vision inherited from our tree-living ancestors, but even using our best space-based telescopes and most sophisticated techniques, this approach works for objects that are within a ten or twenty thousand light yea...

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