Friday, March 22, 2013

New Baby Pictures of Our Universe

universe, physics, cosmology, NASA, ESA, science
Astronomers have released the most detailed heat map of the universe so far, drawing on data from the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Planck satellite.

The map, a constellation of red and blue speckles, captures the imprint of the first light that shone through the cosmos, just 380,000 years after the big bang that marks the beginning of the universe. It shows tiny fluctuations in the so-called cosmic microwave background, the residual glow of radiation from this earliest light.

Markus Bauer, an ESA spokesman, told RFE/RL that “We are looking back almost 13.8 billion years. There was an initial phase of what we call inflation, when the universe was expanding at a tremendous rate, even faster than light."

The picture reveals the age of the Universe to be only about 90 million years older than previously estimated, which is very close. Indeed, this “baby picture” of our universe is in striking agreement with our current understanding of the universe.

Read more from Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty here.

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