Conclusion

The discovery of the red shift law and its confirmation as an expression of universal expansion was the most important event in the history of astronomy since Copernicus and one of the most important events in the whole history of civilization. This discovery has few parallels in the history of science: the revelation of a profound truth about the physical world on the largest scale with absolutely no anticipations in earlier work on the subject. Prior to Slipher's nebular spectroscopic investigations, there was not the slightest hint in the speculative or serious astronomical literature of the idea of an expanding universe. The events in observational cosmology of the 1920s and 1930s were so momentous, unexpected, and singular that the scientists of the period were hardly able to grasp the intellectual and historical magnitude of what had happened.

FROM UNIVERSAL EXPANSION TO THE BIG BANG

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