How did Hubble get its name

New nameThe Hubble-Lemaitre Law

Ninety years ago, an article entitled "A Relationship Between Distance and Radial Velocity in Extragalactic Nebulae" appeared in the Proceedings of the US Academy of Sciences. In it, the astronomer Edwin Hubble reported on the general expansion of the universe.

According to this, galaxies move away the faster the further away they are from us. This reflects the expansion of the universe.

Only published in Belgium

The Belgian priest Georges Lemaitre had made the same discovery two years earlier. His specialist article was entitled "A universe with constant mass and increasing radius explains the radial velocities of the extragalactic nebulae".

The astronomers almost agreed: Vote on the "Hubble-Lemaitre Law" at the 2018 World Congress in Vienna (International Astronomical Union)

Lemaitre had also recognized that the cosmos was expanding. His text appeared in French in the Annals of the Scientific Society of Brussels. Researchers in other countries have not noticed it.

However, in 1928 - a year after Lemaitre and a year before Hubble's publication - Georges Lemaitre and Edwin Hubble met at a congress in the Netherlands and discussed their research.

IAU recommends: Pay tribute to Lemaitre!

Because the discovery of the expansion of the cosmos was only attributed to Edwin Hubble for a long time, the connection between the distance and speed of a galaxy was called "Hubble's Law".

In order to honor the second - and actually first - discoverer, the International Astronomical Union now recommends the designation "Hubble-Lemaitre Law".