During a recent study on the universe’s expansion rate, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or NASA, found that “something weird” is happening in outer space.

In a statement, NASA said, “The cause of this discrepancy remains a mystery. But Hubble data, encompassing a variety of cosmic objects that serve as distance markers, support the idea that something weird is going on, possibly involving brand new physics.”

So what is going on? According to the data, the universe is expanding faster than anticipated, based on observations made earlier on in time. It is worth noting these observations are rooted in the so-called “Big Bang Theory,” which is, to many, at odds with the story of creation as detailed in the Old Testament book of Genesis.

As GotQuestions explains, while the Big Bang Theory acknowledges the universe came into existence out of nothing, it fails to credit an almighty creator, God, as the catalyst of the universe’s construction. Furthermore, the theory contradicts the literal interpretation of Scripture, known as Young Earth Creationism, which suggests that creation occurred in six 24-hour days between 6,000 and 12,000 years ago.

According to Space.com, The Big Bang Theory is the leading explanation for the universe’s beginning. Simply put, it says the universe as we know it started with an infinitely hot and dense single point that inflated and stretched. First at unimaginable speeds, and then at a more measurable rate, over the next 13.8 billion years to the still-expanding cosmos that we know today.

Existing technology doesn’t yet allow astronomers to peer back at the universe’s birth literally; much of what we understand about the Big Bang comes from mathematical formulas and models. Astronomers can, however, see the “echo” of the expansion through a phenomenon known as the cosmic microwave background.

Aldebaran S/Unsplash

Newly discovered data has led NASA scientists to predict the universe is expanding at 73 kilometers per second per megaparsec. This expansion rate is a significant jump from the initially expected speed of 67.5 kilometers per second per megaparsec. Given the updated numbers, astronomers are forecasting the universe will double in size over the next 10 billion years.

A “megaparsec,” as defined by Universe Today, is “a million parsecs (mega- is a prefix meaning million.) There are about 3.3 light-years to a parsec. A megaparsec is rather a long way.” And the expansion rate is known as the “Hubble constant.” In the past, scientists believed gravity would cause the universe’s expansion to slow down over time.

In its recent statement on the new expansion rate, NASA explained that, when the federal agency advocated for the large space telescope in the 1970s, “one of the primary justifications for the expense and extraordinary technical effort was to be able to resolve Cepheids. Cepheids are stars that brighten and dim periodically, seen inside our Milky Way and external galaxies.”

Scientists have since been able to use Cepheids, discovered in 1912 by astronomer Henrietta Swan Leavitt, to measure distances within the universe. Researchers can then use Type Ia supernovae, or exploding stars, to measure even greater distances. Astronomers use those statistics to determine the Hubble constant then. As Christians, we should see God’s creation as signs of His glory from outer space to our day-to-day lives.

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