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zeroing in

Zeroing in on the Age of the Universe
by Mike Matz

How old is the universe? While scientists have pondered this fundamental question for millennia, even a reasonable estimate has been elusive. In just the past five years, however, experts--with help from tools like the Hubble Space Telescope--have made remarkable headway in refining an increasingly precise value.

A big part of this progress rests on our understanding of a related question: How did the universe begin? Today, most astrophysicists agree that the universe began with the Big Bang (read an article on the Big Bang), an inconceivably large explosion that created billions of galaxies and sent them flying apart. In fact, cosmologists’ knowledge of the dynamics of this galactic expansion is helping them figure out when the Big Bang itself happened.

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