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Data from the Hubble telescope on the universe's age call physicists' cherished theories into question

The Hubble Space Telescope has performed some spectacular feats of science since a crew of astronauts heroically corrected the instrument's blurred vision last December. The orbiting observatory has snapped dramatic pictures & of the comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 smashing into Jupiter, discovered hundreds of what seem to be solar systems in the making, and provided proof that giant black holes lurk in the cores of galaxies. But all this was just a warm-up for the Hubble's most eagerly awaited mission: to gauge the age of the universe. The question of how old the heavens are is not only fascinating in its own...

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