Member bodies of the metagalaxy, which includes our Milky Way, are drifting apart at a far slower rate than had been previously supposed, Harlow Shapley, Pine Professor of Practical Astronomy, announced yesterday.
Using the radio-astronomy telescope; an instrument which measures the hydrogen content in the space between stars, Harold Ewen and Edward M. Purcell, professor of Physics, began revising former calculations in the expansion of the nearer galaxies during March of 1951.
Dutch scientists have followed up Ewen and Purcell's discovery and found, in collaboration with Harvard and the Mount Wilson Observatory, that the distance of the external galaxies from earth is actually greater than was thought.
The new figures of expansion of the metagalaxy, located by Harvard and Mount Wilson astronomers, check against the radioactively determined age of the earth's crust, Shapley said.
The new telescope, which looks like an ordinary instrument without the mirror, receives radiations from free hydrogen of wave lengths of from 1 mm, to ten meters in length. According to Shapley, radio-astronomy is an entirely new and important field, in which British, Dutch, and French astronomers, as well as those of this country, are working.