News of the WeekAstrophysics

Has a Cosmic Standard Candle Flickered?

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  02 Jul 1999:
Vol. 285, Issue 5424, pp. 19
DOI: 10.1126/science.285.5424.19a

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text


A team of astronomers says it has found slight, previously unnoticed variations among the exploding stars called type Ia supernovae, which astronomers use as cosmic "standard candles." Such variability could, in theory, call into question the measurements based on the explosions--among them the dramatic finding that the expansion rate of the universe is speeding up over time.