How Old is the Universe? Examining a New Study

Professor Brian Keating
8 min readOct 10, 2023
Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash


The age of the universe has long been a topic of fascination and debate among scientists and astronomers. For many years, the most widely accepted estimation was that the universe is approximately 13.8 billion years old. However, a recent study by Dr. Rajendra Gupta from the University of Ottawa in Canada challenges this belief. Using data from the James Webb Space Telescope, Gupta’s study suggests that the universe may actually be twice as old as previously thought.

Reconsidering the Age of the Universe

In the study published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Dr. Gupta presents a new model that extends the age of the universe to 26.7 billion years. This revision contradicts the traditional cosmological model and sheds light on the “impossible early galaxy” problem. The phenomenon refers to the puzzling existence of galaxies that appear to be older than the estimated age of the universe.

The James Webb Space Telescope

To arrive at this groundbreaking conclusion, Dr. Gupta analyzed deep space observations made by the James Webb Space Telescope. This state-of-the-art telescope, launched in 2022, has provided astronomers with unprecedented views of distant galaxies and stars. By studying the characteristics and evolution of these celestial bodies, scientists can gain valuable insights into the age and formation of the universe.

The ‘Impossible Early Galaxy’ Problem

One of the key findings of Dr. Gupta’s study is its potential solution to the “impossible early galaxy” problem. This problem arises when observations of certain galaxies suggest that they are significantly older than the universe itself. Researchers have previously struggled to reconcile these observations with the current understanding of cosmic evolution. However, Gupta’s newly devised model offers a possible explanation for this puzzling phenomenon.

Stretching Galaxy Formation Time

According to Dr. Gupta, his model stretches the timeline for galaxy formation by several billion years. By doing so, it allows for a universe that is 26.7 billion years old, instead of the previously estimated 13.8 billion years. This extended timeline provides a plausible explanation for the existence of mature galaxies, such as the Methuselah, which exhibit characteristics typically associated with billions of years of cosmic evolution.

Tired Light Theory

Dr. Gupta’s study also challenges the traditional interpretation of the redshift phenomenon, which has been a cornerstone of our understanding of the expanding universe. The redshift of light from distant galaxies is usually attributed to the Doppler effect caused by the expansion of space. However, Gupta proposes an alternative explanation by invoking the tired light theory proposed by Swiss astronomer Fritz Zwicky.

According to Zwicky’s theory, the redshift of light is a result of the gradual loss of energy by photons over vast cosmic distances. Gupta’s model suggests that the redshift may be a hybrid phenomenon, combining elements of both expansion and tired light. This reinterpretation allows for a coexistence of the tired light theory and the expanding universe, providing a new perspective on the nature of redshift.

Revisiting the Cosmological Constant

In addition to challenging the traditional interpretation of redshift, Dr. Gupta’s study advocates for a revision of the cosmological constant. The cosmological constant, initially introduced by Albert Einstein, represents the energy density of empty space and is associated with the concept of dark energy. Dark energy is believed to be responsible for the accelerating expansion of the universe.

Gupta’s research suggests that the traditional interpretation of the cosmological constant may need to be reconsidered. By reevaluating the role of dark energy and its impact on the expansion of the universe, his study opens up new avenues for understanding the fundamental forces that shape the cosmos.

Implications for Our Understanding of the Universe

The implications of Dr. Gupta’s study are significant for our understanding of the universe’s age and evolution. If the universe is indeed 26.7 billion years old, it would require a reevaluation of various cosmological models and theories. Scientists would need to revisit their calculations and observations to account for this extended timeline.

Furthermore, the study raises questions about the accuracy of previous estimations and the limitations of our current observational methods. It highlights the importance of continuously pushing the boundaries of scientific exploration and technology to gain a deeper understanding of the cosmos.


Dr. Rajendra Gupta’s study challenges the prevailing belief about the age of the universe. His research, based on data from the James Webb Space Telescope, suggests that the universe may be twice as old as previously estimated. This groundbreaking finding has implications for our understanding of cosmic evolution, galaxy formation, and the nature of redshift. It underscores the importance of ongoing scientific exploration and the need to continually question and refine our existing models of the universe.

By delving into deep space observations and employing innovative interpretations, scientists like Dr. Gupta are bringing us closer to unraveling the mysteries of the cosmos. As we continue to explore and expand our knowledge, the age-old question of how old the universe truly is may finally be answered.

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Note: This article is a reinterpretation and synthesis of information from multiple sources, including the article “The universe may be twice as old as previously thought” by Vish Gain, published on Silicon Republic. The content has been written in a unique manner to avoid plagiarism and promote originality.

The Big Bang theory is one of the most widely accepted explanations for the origin of the universe. It states that the universe began as a singularity and has been expanding ever since. However, there are some who claim that the Big Bang never happened and that there is evidence to support alternative theories. In this article, we will explore these claims and examine the scientific evidence that supports the Big Bang theory.

The Big Bang Theory: An Overview

Before we delve into the claims against the Big Bang theory, let’s first understand what the theory entails. According to the Big Bang theory, the universe originated from a singularity, a point of infinite density and temperature, approximately 13.8 billion years ago. The singularity then underwent a rapid expansion, resulting in the formation of matter and energy.

The evidence for the Big Bang theory is extensive and comes from a variety of sources, including the observation of cosmic microwave background radiation, the abundance of light elements, and the redshift of distant galaxies. These pieces of evidence provide strong support for the idea that the universe began with a Big Bang.

Claims Against the Big Bang Theory

Claim 1: The Horizon Problem

One of the main claims against the Big Bang theory is the horizon problem. Critics argue that the universe appears to be uniform and isotropic on a large scale, but according to the theory, there hasn’t been enough time for light to travel across the universe and achieve this uniformity.

However, scientists have proposed a solution to this problem called cosmic inflation. Inflation suggests that the universe underwent a period of rapid expansion in its early stages, which would explain why the universe appears uniform on large scales.

Claim 2: The Flatness Problem

Another claim against the Big Bang theory is the flatness problem. Critics argue that the universe is remarkably flat, meaning that the curvature of spacetime is very close to zero. According to the theory, the universe should have a curvature that deviates from flatness over time.

Again, cosmic inflation provides a solution to this problem. The rapid expansion during inflation would have smoothed out any deviations from flatness, resulting in the observed flatness of the universe.

Claim 3: The Missing Monopoles

Critics of the Big Bang theory also point to the absence of magnetic monopoles as evidence against the theory. Magnetic monopoles are hypothetical particles that carry a single magnetic charge, similar to how electrons carry electric charge. According to some theories, the conditions of the early universe should have produced a significant number of magnetic monopoles, but they have never been observed.

However, the absence of magnetic monopoles is not necessarily a problem for the Big Bang theory. Inflationary models predict that the number of magnetic monopoles would be greatly reduced during the rapid expansion of the universe, explaining their scarcity.

Claim 4: Alternatives to the Big Bang

There are alternative theories to the Big Bang that critics often cite as evidence against the theory. These include the steady-state theory, which proposes that the universe has always existed and is continuously creating matter, and the plasma cosmology model, which suggests that electromagnetic forces play a more significant role in the universe’s evolution.

However, these alternative theories lack the extensive observational evidence that supports the Big Bang theory. The abundance of evidence, such as the cosmic microwave background radiation and the redshift of galaxies, strongly favors the Big Bang as the most accurate explanation for the origin of the universe.

The Evidence Supporting the Big Bang Theory

Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation

One of the most compelling pieces of evidence supporting the Big Bang theory is the detection of cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB). The CMB is a faint glow of radiation that permeates the universe and is thought to be the remnants of the intense heat generated by the Big Bang.

The discovery of the CMB in 1965 by Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson provided strong evidence for the existence of the Big Bang. The radiation is remarkably uniform in all directions, consistent with the predictions of the theory.

Abundance of Light Elements

The abundance of light elements in the universe is also consistent with the predictions of the Big Bang theory. According to the theory, the universe was incredibly hot and dense in its early stages, allowing for the formation of light elements such as hydrogen and helium through nuclear reactions.

Observations of the elemental abundances in the universe, particularly the ratio of hydrogen to helium, align closely with the predictions of the Big Bang theory. This agreement further supports the idea that the universe began with a hot and dense initial state.

Redshift of Distant Galaxies

The redshift of distant galaxies provides additional evidence for the Big Bang theory. The redshift occurs when light from distant galaxies is stretched as the universe expands, causing the wavelength of the light to shift towards longer, redder wavelengths.

By measuring the redshift of distant galaxies, scientists can determine the rate at which the universe is expanding. These measurements have consistently shown that galaxies are moving away from each other, supporting the idea of an expanding universe and lending further support to the Big Bang theory.


While there are claims against the Big Bang theory, the scientific evidence overwhelmingly supports its validity. The observations of cosmic microwave background radiation, the abundance of light elements, and the redshift of distant galaxies provide compelling evidence for the theory. Critics often overlook the solutions proposed by cosmic inflation, which address many of the alleged problems with the theory.

The Big Bang theory remains the most widely accepted explanation for the origin of the universe due to its ability to explain a wide range of observations. As with any scientific theory, it is subject to scrutiny and further investigation, but at present, it stands as the best explanation for the universe’s beginnings.



Professor Brian Keating

Chancellor’s Distinguished Professor at UC San Diego. Host of The INTO THE IMPOSSIBLE Podcast Authored: Losing the Nobel Prize & Think like a Nobel Prize Winner