The Hubble Space Telescope

One of the telescope's primary aims was to measure the distance to remote galaxies, and help calculate the rate of expansion of the universe.

However, the theory has had to be patched up a few times in order to explain new problems with the universe itself. The largest of these patches is "inflation," developed in the 1970s when astronomers discovered that galaxies were distributed very unevenly through the universe—the original Big Bang theory suggested that matter would be more evenly distributed. According to the theory, inflation was a brief but spectacular "growth spurt," in which the early universe grew from the size of an atom to the size of a galaxy. In the process, microscopic variations in density were blown up to a scale where they can explain today's distribution of galaxies.

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