At www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2012-309&cid=release_2012-309 … astronomers using NASAs Spitzer Space Telescope have accomplished a more accurate and precise measurement of the Hubble Constant. This is the rate at which our universe is stretching apart. Spitzer used long wavelength infra red light to make the new measurements. The findings were also combined with published data from NASAs Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe to obtain an independent measurement of dark energy. It seems that dark energy, it is alleged, is winning a battle against gravity, pulling the fabric of the universe apart.
What Spitzer actually did was to see through dust clouds in space to get a closer picture at what are known as variable stars, the cepheids. These pulsating stars are objects which appear to be moving away. Cepheids are included in the calculations because their distance from Earth can be measured easily from their brightness. The dimmer they are the further away, it is thought, they are, and a comparison is made with a candle being walked away with a gradually receding brightness. It seems the calculations rely on an assumption cepheids should rotate at the same brightness and if one is dimmer than another it is because they are further away. This is probably too simplistic and it would be advisable to read the full article, published in the Astrophysical Journal this month.
Elsewhere, it seems NASA scientists have used satellite data to measure the rate of Plate Tectonics movement in various parts of the world. It moves, it is alleged, very slowly, almost like growing fingernails. Don Findlay, at www.platetectonicsbiglie.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/nasa-ocean-floors-and-do… …. is blowing a fuse over at his place on the internet and is interpreting this movement as Earth expansion. So, we have a consensus theory of an expanding universe but another consensus theory that denies the Earth itself might be expanding.