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The Corrected History of the Discovery of Expansion: On the entire Internet, the following is the most concise and reasonably comprehensive chronology of the discovery of the (apparent) expansion of the universe.
The links to these ten publications bring you to original sources.
- Hubble wrote to de Sitter in 1930, "I consider the velocity-distance relation [i.e., "Hubble's Law"], its formulation, testing and confirmation, as a Mount Wilson [i.e., Hubble] contribution and I am deeply concerned in its recognition as such." Clearly.
That constant can be arbitrarily valued as either positive, zero, or negative to obtain a repulsive, static, or attractive force that would tend toward expansion, a static, or a contracting universe.] However in 1917, the idea that the universe was expanding was thought to be absurd.
[But by the time the BB was proposed in 1931, expansion was widely believed (see below).] So Einstein invented the cosmological constant as a term in his General Relativity theory that allowed for a static universe. The "success" of the big bang lies in its ability to simply conform to whatever the latest data or cosmological fad requires.] In 1929, Edwin Hubble announced that his observations of galaxies outside our own Milky Way showed that they were systematically moving away...
- 1931 Arthur Eddington: Mentioning in passing Lemaître and the growing belief in an expanding universe, Eddington suggests: From the astronomical data it appears that the original radius of space [i.e., the universe] was 1200 million light years. At that radius the mutual attraction of the matter in the world [cosmos] was just sufficient to hold it together and check the tendency to expand. An expansion [from an initially static universe] began, slow at first; but the more widely the matter was scattered the less able was the mutual gravitation to check the expansion.
We do not know the radius of space to-day, but I should estimate that it is not less than ten times the original radius.