A Turn of the Millennium Astronomical Debate
In April 1920, Harlow Shapley and Heber D. Curtis debated "The Scale of the Universe" in the main auditorium of Smithsonian's Natural History Museum in Washington, DC. In April 1996, Sidney van den Bergh and Gustav A. Tammann again debated "The Scale of the Universe" in the main auditorium of Smithsonian's Natural History Museum in Washington, DC. The 1996 debate centered on the recent controversies surrounding the determinations of Hubble's constant - the expansion rate of the Universe. This single number, named for astronomer Edwin Hubble, parametrizes the size and age of our Universe. Interpreting recent observational results from space borne and ground based telescopes, two large camps have emerged backing different values of Hubble's constant. At the 1996 Scale of the Universe debate, champions for each camp outlined their arguments.
Hubble, Humason, and Hubble's Constant
A Short Bibliography for the 1996 Debate
A Glossary defining terms used in the 1996 Debate.
Return to The Scale of the Universe Debate in 1996