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Hubble, Gaia produce most precise measure of universe's expansion rate

Hubble, Gaia produce most precise measure of universe's expansion rate

Science
July 12 (UPI) -- By combining the observations of the two most powerful space telescopes in orbit, scientists have achieved the most precise measurement of the Hubble constant, the universe's expansion rate. The new measurement confirms the tension between explosion rate in the early and late universe, researchers report. Astronomers can measure the expansion of the universe by measuring a galaxy's redshift, a change in the wavelength of the light due to a change in the velocity of the object. By measuring the redshift of galaxies using the Hubble Telescope, scientists have established the Hubble constant. But investigations of the cosmic microwave background, the oldest radiation in the universe, can also be used to predict the universe's expansion rate. Maps of the microwave signature ...
Gravitation lens yields most precise test of general relativity yet outside our Milky Way

Gravitation lens yields most precise test of general relativity yet outside our Milky Way

Science
June 21 (UPI) -- The theory of general relativity states that objects and their gravitational pull distort the spacetime around them. The phenomenon explains the gravitational lens effect, the bending of light in a lens-like shape around large galaxies and cosmic structures. Recently, astronomers successfully measured the gravitation lensing effect around the elliptical galaxy ESO 325-G004, located 450 million light-years from Earth. The test proved with record-precision the general relativity. Astronomers used the MUSE instrument on the Very Large Telescope to analyze the movement of stars within ESO 325-G004 to estimate the galaxy's mass. Astronomers than used high-definition images collected by the Hubble Space Telescope to measure the lensing ring around the galaxy. Their measurement...
Most people still don't understand a thing about their credit score, and it's costing them big time

Most people still don't understand a thing about their credit score, and it's costing them big time

Finance
Credit scores greatly impact a consumer's financial moves — and how much they'll pay along the way — yet many don't even know how the rating works. Around 40 percent believe, incorrectly, that age and marital status play a role in their three-digit score, according to the Consumer Federation of America's credit card survey, which included interviews with some 1,000 people from May 31 to June 3 of this year. Only around 20 percent of people fully realize how a low credit score can bring on heftier interest-rate charges. Specifically, that borrowers with a low score can pay about $ 5,000 more on a $ 20,000, 60-mont...
Peggy Whitson, NASA's most experienced astronaut, retires

Peggy Whitson, NASA's most experienced astronaut, retires

Science
June 15 (UPI) -- After nearly four decades with NASA, including 22 years as an astronaut, Peggy Whitson is leaving the space agency. Her retirement is effective Friday, NASA announced. "It's been the greatest honor to live out my lifelong dream of being a @NASA Astronaut," Whitson wrote on Twitter. "Thank you to the #NASAVillage and all who have supported me along the way. As I reminisce on my many treasured memories, it's safe to say my journey at NASA has been out of this world!" Whitson ends her career with multiple records to her name, including most time spent in space by a U.S. astronaut -- 665 days. She has also conducted more spacewalks, 10, than any other female astronaut. "Peggy Whitson is a testament to the American spirit," NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a news re...
Here's why most Americans tap their retirement savings early

Here's why most Americans tap their retirement savings early

Finance
Most people don't intend to raid their retirement accounts — and that's just the problem. Tapping your retirement dollars early is almost always considered taboo, although, at times, it can seem unavoidable. By far, the majority of Americans said they dipped into their retirement funds to pay off debt or bills, according to a recent report by GoBankingRates. The other most common reasons cited were to cover a financial emergency or medical expense. Less than 10 pe...