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HubbleSite Hubble Space Telescope Measures Precise Distance to the Most Remote Galaxy Yet

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Space Telescope Science

Astronomers using the Hubble telescope have announced the most accurate distance measurement yet to the remote galaxy M100, located in the Virgo cluster of galaxies.

This measurement will help provide a precise calculation of the expansion rate of the universe, called the Hubble Constant, which is crucial to determining the age and size of the universe. They calculated the distance - 56 million light-years - by measuring the brightness of several Cepheid variable stars in the galaxy. Cepheid variables are a class of pulsating star used as "milepost markers" to calculate the distance to nearby galaxies. The bottom image shows a region of M100. This Hubble telescope image is a close-up of a region of the galaxy M100. The top three frames, taken over several weeks, reveal the rhythmic changes in brightness of a Cepheid variable.

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