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How Redshift Revealed the Universe

ByGreg KestinThe Nature of RealityThe Nature of Reality

Just over a century ago, even the most pioneering astronomers still pictured the universe as a small, static thing that ended at the edges of the Milky Way Galaxy. But that all changed after an Indiana farm boy discovered a strange quirk of the cosmos in 1912: redshift.

Over the course of a century, redshift, the shifting of light toward the red end of the spectrum, became a tool that led astronomers to uncover some of the biggest cosmic mysteries — and to discover the incredible breadth of the universe itself.

This project/research was supported by grant number FQXi-RFP-1822 from the Foundational Questions Institute and Fetzer Franklin Fund, a donor-advised fund of Silicon Valley Community Foundation.