Archive for Hubble Tension

The art of building a smooth cosmic distance ladder in a perturbed universe

Posted in The Universe and Stuff with tags , , on February 22, 2022 by telescoper

Catching up on some literature on the inestimable arXiv I came across this paper by Obinna Umeh which I haven’t gone through in detail but which looks very interesting:

How does a smooth cosmic distance ladder emerge from observations made from a single location in a lumpy Universe? Distances to the Type Ia supernova (SN1A) in the Hubble flow are anchored on local distance measurements to sources that are very nearby. We described how this configuration could be built in a perturbed universe where lumpiness is described as small perturbations on top of a flat Friedmann-Lemaıtre Robertson-Walker (FLRW) spacetime. We show that there is a non-negligible modification (about 11%) to the background FLRW area distance due to the presence of inhomogeneities in the immediate neighbourhood of an observer. We find that the modification is sourced by the electric part of the Weyl tensor indicating a tidal deformation of the local spacetime of the observer. We show in detail how it could impact the calibration of the SN1A absolute magnitude in the Hubble flow. We show that it resolves the SN1A absolute magnitude and Hubble tensions simultaneously without the need for early or late dark energy.

The area distance here is what I usually call the angular-diameter distance; when one thinks of supernova measurements one usually thinks of the luminosity distance but these are related through the reciprocity relation discussed here which applies to each source regardless of whether the metric is of FLRW form or not. For a general discussion of cosmological distances see here.

More Hubble Constant Tension

Posted in The Universe and Stuff with tags , , , on October 14, 2019 by telescoper

Here’s the abstract of another contribution to ongoing discussions around so-called tension between different estimates of the Hubble Constantpolldaddy (see this blog passim):

You can find the actual paper (by Lin, Mack and Hou) on the arXiv here.

Now, before Mr Hine starts to fill up my blocked comments folder with rants, I will add a few comments of my own.

First, at the Royal Astronomical Society on Friday I discussed all this with a renowned observational astronomer and expert on stellar distance measurements. He agreed with me that if the `tension’ is indeed real then it is far more likely to be a problem with stellar distance measurements than the cosmology.

Second, I am writing a review of all this to be published in Astronomy & Geophysics next year. Watch this space.

Third, this gives me an excuse to include yet again my poll on whether you are worried about the “tension”: