Rohit Khare (email@example.com)
Mon, 11 Nov 1996 13:31:23 -0500
> >r i BC-SCIENCE-UNIVERSE 11-08 0319
> > ^''Hitchiker'' book beats astronomers to universal key@
> > LONDON (Reuter) - Scientists searching for one of the
> >fundamental keys to the universe found they had been beaten to
> >the answer by the comic cult novel ``Hitchhiker's Guide to the
> >Galaxy''; and the answer was 42.
> > In the British novel and radio serial by Douglas Adams, an
> >alien race programs a computer called Deep Thought to provide
> >the ultimate answer to understanding life and the universe.
> > In the novel, seven and a half million years later Deep
> >Thought comes back with the result - 42.
> > Astronomers at Britain's Cambridge University took a little
> >less time - three years - to calculate the Hubble Constant that
> >determines the age of the universe. But the answer was the same.
> > ``It caused quite a few laughs when we arrived at the figure
> >42, because we're all great fans of The Hitchhiker's Guide,''
> >Dr. Keith Grange, one of the team of Cambridge scientists who
> >worked on the project, said Friday.
> > ``Everyone thought it was quite fun.''
> > The scientists were using a new technique to determine the
> >value of the Hubble Constant, a source of constant controversy
> >among astronomers. The Constant is a measure of the rate at
> >which galaxies are receding from each other as a result of the
> >Big Bang that created the universe.
> > Knowing how quickly everything is flying apart can enable
> >scientists to work out the universe's age.
> > This has presented a problem, since the large Hubble
> >Constant values estimated by some experts would mean that the
> >universe is younger than its oldest stars. The Cambridge team
> >put the age of the universe at between 14 and 16 billion years.
> > Grange said the answer was unlikely to remain 42, however.
> >The team plans to observe more galaxy clusters and take an
> >average of a larger number of measurements.
> > ``After averaging out all these values we'll have a
> >relatively accurate answer,'' he said. ``It may be 42, but it
> >could be anything between 30 and 55.''
> > ^REUTER@
> >Reut13:36 11-08-96
> >Reuter N:Copyright 1996, Reuters News Service
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