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News Release Archive:

News Release 51 of 66

May 25, 1999 11:00 AM (EDT)

News Release Number: STScI-1999-19

Hubble Completes Eight-Year Effort to Measure Expanding Universe

May 25, 1999: The Hubble Space Telescope Key Project team today announced that it has completed efforts to measure precise distances to far-flung galaxies, an essential ingredient needed to determine the age, size and fate of the universe.

The team used the Hubble telescope to observe 19 galaxies out to 108 million light-years. They discovered almost 800 Cepheid variable stars, a special class of pulsating star used for accurate distance measurements. Here is a picture of one of those galaxies. It is the spiral galaxy NGC 4603, the most distant galaxy in which Cepheid variables have been found. It is associated with the Centaurus cluster, one of the most massive assemblages of galaxies in the nearby universe.

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Photo Credit: Jeffrey Newman (Univ. of California at Berkeley) and NASA