University of Portsmouth scientists to help study distance of galaxies

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SCIENTISTS have announced that they have made the most precise distance measurements yet to galaxies six billion light years away.

The Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (Boss) has measured the distance to these galaxies to a precision of one per cent using the largest volume of the universe ever surveyed in this way.

These measurements are key to determining the nature of dark energy, the mysterious force which cosmologists believe to be causing the expansion of the universe to speed up.

Dr Rita Tojeiro is a Boss collaborator at the Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation (ICG) based at the University of Portsmouth. She said it’s a big step forward.

‘I’m incredibly proud of this result,’ she said.

‘Measuring anything to this level of accuracy in astronomy is very rare and requires hard and gruelling work.

‘But precise measurements are what we need to unlock the secrets of our universe.’

Dr Ashley Ross, a researcher at the ICG and Boss collaborator, said: ‘Nature has presented us with a beautiful ruler, and it happens to be half a billion light years long, so we can measure it precisely even from very far away.’