As someone who has taught classes at top universities (although not Stanford), I just have to say that the answer to this question is a resounding *yes*! In the time since computers because a thing that "everyone can do" (and not just geeks), users have become significantly less geeky. I'm a scientists and I was shocked at the number of incoming *PhD* students who have close to zero programming experience. I'm a crap programmer, but have the basic skills to hack together what I need. A lot of the students I've taught (as well as grad students who were slightly-younger contemporaries of me) had shockingly little (sometimes no) programming experience.
It's also possible that this galaxy is not totally in the Hubble Flow. In other words, it might be pulled around by other nearby galaxies/galaxy clusters. All galaxies are affected by this to some extent, but with nearby galaxies (like this one), these gravitationally-caused velocities can be significant compared to the Hubble expansion-caused velocities.
Is something "bad" going to happen? No. Does it make interpretation of the quantity more confusing? Absolutely.
The trouble is that these galaxies aren't that far away (despite the article summary says). They're quite a bit further away than the previous measurements of water masers, but you still need to use Type Ia supernovae to actually get to the distances where this discussion gets interesting. The cool thing about the water masers is that they might allow us to get out a bit further without using another "rung" on the distance ladder, but there is no way that they are going to replace the (much, much more distant) Type Ia supernovae.
I know what you're saying, but I think you're just confusing it.
The standard way to say this is that the universe is "finite but unbounded," in the same way that the [i]surface[/i] of a sphere is.
Yeah. No one really cares about the SBC. Hopefully they'll fix the rest of the ACS channels on their trip up.
The only good news about this most recent failure is that it's relatively easy to replace the electronics; it was designed to be replaced and is mounted on a door on HST that they were planning on opening anyway. The only concern is that the replacement hasn't been used in over 18 years (i.e. since HST went up). But, the general thought is that the replacement of the data handling computer shouldn't necessarily bump any of the planned parts of SM4. I also think that ACS is above STIS on their priority list, so hopefully ACS is still likely to be fixed.
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