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Introduction to Astronomy May 2022

May 2 @ 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Measuring Distances In Space Part 2

The Cosmic Distance Ladder & The Hubble Tension

Speaker: Chris Benton

Descriptions of most astronomical objects such as planets, stars and galaxies usually include how far away from Earth they are. The quoted distance may involve millions of kilometres, light years or parsecs.

Last month, we discussed astronomers’ principles and methods to measure distances across space. This evening we briefly review those in the context of their ideal range before discussing the cosmic distance ladder as a tool to optimise precision over extra-large distances. We then cover the current expansion of space, known as Hubble’s constant (H0), in the context of “late-time” and “early-time” measurements, highlighting a severe discrepancy between the two, known as the Hubble Tension. Two case studies illustrate using the cosmic distance ladder, with one showing the Hubble Tension, while another offers a solution.

We look forward to discussing this fascinating problem in astronomy with you online using the link below to our YouTube website.


NB: Tonight’s meeting is online due to maintenance on the computer server. Otherwise, AAS meetings are now in-person.

Best regards

The AAS Team

(A comprehensive handout of Parts 1 & 2 are available on request by emailing [email protected])


May 2
8:00 pm - 9:00 pm


Dr Chris Benton