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 There's something wrong with the universe. Okay, it's not the universe that's the problem; it's our understanding of the universe. The problem lies with cosmology—the branch of science that studies cosmic evolution—and it's only getting worse. But that may, or may not, turn out to be a good thing.

Talk to an astronomer or a physicist about the state of the art in understanding the universe and they'll tell you we've entered the "Precision Age" of cosmology. The data relevant to cosmic evolution have gotten so good we know all the relevant parameters – things like the universe's age and average density – down to a few decimal places. That's a pretty impressive achievement.

One of the most important of these cosmic parameters is what's known as the Hubble constant (cosmologists write it as Ho). Modern cosmology tells us the universe has been expanding since its beginning in the Big Bang. The Hubble constant specifies the rate of that expansion. It's also related to the age of the universe. Larger values of Ho mean a younger universe. Smaller values of Ho mean an older universe.

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