This image made available by the European Space agency shows galaxies in the Hubble Ultra Deep Field 2012, an improved version of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field image. A study from the Max Planck Institute in Germany published Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019, in the journal Science uses a new technique to come up with a rate that the universe is expanding that is nearly 18% higher than the number scientists had been using since the year 2000. (NASA, ESA, R. Ellis (Caltech), HUDF 2012 Team via AP)

Study finds the universe might be 2 billion years younger

September 12, 2019 - 2:13 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — New calculations suggest the universe could be a couple billion years younger than scientists now estimate.

The generally accepted age of the universe is 13.7 billion years, but the new research calculates it could be around 11.4 billion years.

In recent years scientists have reopened an astronomical debate that had been seemingly settled about the age of the universe, which they estimate by trying to measure how fast the universe is expanding.

A few recent calculations have suggested the universe is younger, but another estimates it could be older. The huge swings reflect different approaches to the tricky problem of figuring the universe's real age.

Even his new calculation could be off by hundreds of millions of years, researchers acknowledge.

The study is in Thursday's journal Science.

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