The International Astronomical Union has voted in favor of a recommendation to rename the Hubble law the Hubble-Lemaître law, to acknowledge the contributions of the Belgian priest and astronomer Georges Lemaître to the scientific theory of the expansion of the universe.
“To honour the intellectual integrity and the supremely significant discovery by Georges Lemaître, the IAU is pleased to recommend that the expansion of the Universe be referred to as the Hubble–Lemaître law,” the association stated.
Fr Georges Lemaître, who died in 1966, was a physicist and mathematician who is widely credited with developing the ‘Big Bang’ theory to explain the physical origin of the universe.
Hubble’s law describes how objects in the expanding universe move away from each other with a velocity proportional to their distance apart.
Renaming the law was presented and discussed at the IAU’s 30th General Assembly in Vienne. “This resolution was proposed in order to pay tribute to both Lemaître and Hubble for their fundamental contributions to the development of modern cosmology,” the IAU noted.
Among the resolution’s desires was “to honour the intellectual integrity of Georges Lemaître that made him value more the progress of science rather than his own visibility.”