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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004 Jan 6;101(1):8-13. Epub 2003 Dec 26.

Hubble's diagram and cosmic expansion.

Author information

  • Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA. kirshner@cfa.harvard.edu


Edwin Hubble's classic article on the expanding universe appeared in PNAS in 1929 [Hubble, E. P. (1929) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 15, 168-173]. The chief result, that a galaxy's distance is proportional to its redshift, is so well known and so deeply embedded into the language of astronomy through the Hubble diagram, the Hubble constant, Hubble's Law, and the Hubble time, that the article itself is rarely referenced. Even though Hubble's distances have a large systematic error, Hubble's velocities come chiefly from Vesto Melvin Slipher, and the interpretation in terms of the de Sitter effect is out of the mainstream of modern cosmology, this article opened the way to investigation of the expanding, evolving, and accelerating universe that engages today's burgeoning field of cosmology.

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