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The Expanding Universe, the humble exonerates Hubble

The Expanding Universe, the greatest astronomical discovery of the 20th century, is generally credited to Edwin Hubble (1929).

Key passages of a prior article written by Georges Lemaitre (1927) were omitted in the American translation (1931)...

Not by Hubble, under accusation of censorship this year, but by the translator, the humble Belgian priest and cosmologist, Lemaître himself; probably believing his work "was superseded by newer research" said Mario Livio.

Barbara - 15 November 2011

Photo Credit : Wikimedia commons

More about this information

Lost in translation: Mystery of the missing text solved

A discovered letter explains the loss of key paragraphs during the translation of one of Georges Lemaître's papers about the expanding Universe, shows Mario Livio.

Nature 10 November 2011

Hubble cleared

Perhaps Lemaître was simply so flattered to be invited to translate his paper that, aware of Hubble's importance among English-speakers and fearful of repercussions, or eager to join the Royal Astronomical Society, he self-censored. The case against Hubble is closed, but there may still be a story for motivated historians to look into.

- Mario Livio, Nature 09 November 2011

Was the Real Discovery of the Expanding Universe Lost in Translation?

(...) After going through hundreds of pieces of correspondence of the Royal Astronomical Society, as well as minutes of the RAS meetings, and material from the Lemaitre Archive, Livio has discovered that Lemaitre omitted the passages himself when he translated the paper into English! (...)

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