Did Hubble opine that the universe was expanding?

  1. When Hubble published that the galaxies were moving away from each other, the further away the greater redshift and the greater separation velocity, was he saying that space itself was expanding, on the basis of Einstein's general theory, or was he assuming a more or less fixed space, with everything in it retreating from everything else? In other words, did he come up with the idea of an expanding universe - as opposed to a fixed framework within which all the players were flying apart - or did someone else draw that conclusion as a result of his observations?
  2. jcsd
  3. Bobbywhy

    Bobbywhy 1,864
    Gold Member

    Hubble and Humason did not say that redshifted “nebulae” were receding from us. They left the interpretation of their data to others. See this quotation:

    “Mr. Humason and I are both deeply sensible of your gracious appreciation of the papers on velocities and distances of nebulae. We use the term ‘apparent’ velocities to emphasize the empirical features of the correlation. The interpretation, we feel, should be left to you and the very few others who are competent to discuss the matter with authority.”

    One more example of historical evidence, written by Hubble himself, is here:
  4. Chronos

    Chronos 10,349
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Yes, Hubble was reluctant to conclude his redshift studies suggested the universe was expanding. He questioned, but, never entirely rejected that interpretation for most of his life.
  5. 'Opine'? Man, somebody must have gotten a thesaurus for Christmas...
  6. Admittedly, I am a logolept.
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