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Thursday, 21 March 2013

Universe could be 50 million years older than predicted

Scientists at the European Space Agency have created a special map, which they say reveals many new possibilities about the origins of the Universe.
An image of the 'oldest light' in the universe
The scientists used extremely high resolution pictures to map light and radiation - called Cosmic Microwave Background - from across the sky.
The images, that have 50-million pixels, show the 'oldest light' in the universe. Kind of like an imprint of the radiation left behind from when the Universe first came into existence.
The experts say its mottled pattern confirms the Big-Bang theory for the origin and evolution of the Universe.
It also shows the Universe is older than was first thought - around 50 million years more.
That may seem like a massive number, but in 'space' time - it's really not that much, and it suggests the Universe is actually 13.82 billion years old.
The images were created using the agency's Planck telescope, which has been used to study the skies for 15 months.

Scientists have peeled away the layers of light and radiation that separates us from this relic of the Big Bang, revealing a picture of an early universe that conforms remarkably well to the standard model of cosmology.
“Since the release of Planck’s first all-sky map image in 2010, we have been carefully extracting and analysing all the foreground emissions that lie between us and the Universe’s first light, revealing the cosmic background in the greatest detail yet,” said George Efstanthiou of Cambridge Uni                                 

Planck (Esa)
The Planck space telescope

Although the measurements made by Planck match the theoretical predictions of what the Universe should look like, there are some important differences, such as a notable asymmetry between the opposite hemispheres of the sky and a “cold spot” that extends over a much larger patch of the sky than expected.

From CBBC/ BBC/ The Independent

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