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Still Waters

Maps detail Universe's ancient light [merged]

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A map tracing the "oldest light" in the sky has been produced by Europe's Planck Surveyor satellite. Its pattern confirms the Big Bang theory for the origin of the Universe but subtle, unexpected details will require scientists to adjust some of their ideas.

The map shows tiny deviations from the average background temperature, where blue is slightly cooler and red is slightly warmer. The cold spots are where matter was more concentrated and later collapsed under gravity to form stars and galaxies.

http://www.bbc.co.uk...onment-21866464

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The confirmation of inflation was expected and is welcome. One thing the article didn't address was the geometry of the universe and whether it still appears flat out to immense distances. Now we have a new number to memorize: the age of the universe is 13.82 billion years.

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Planck Exposes Ancient Light of the Universe

This animation illustrates the painstaking work performed by scientists to extract the oldest light in our universe, called the cosmic microwave background, from maps of the whole sky taken by the Planck mission.

Planck sees light from just about everything in the universe, stretching back to 370,000 years after the big bang. To remove the light from the material lying between Earth and the cosmic microwave background, the satellite observes at nine frequencies of light. Certain objects glow at different frequencies, allowing their light to be removed.

Examples of light that must be subtracted are: light from star-forming regions; radio emissions from electrons traveling at closet to the speed of light; and light from dust in our Milky Way galaxy.

Planck is a European Space Agency mission, with significant participation from NASA. NASA's Planck Project Office is based at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. JPL contributed mission-enabling technology for both of Planck's science instruments. European, Canadian and U.S. Planck scientists work together to analyze the Planck data.

Image credit: ESA and the Planck Collaboration

Source: NASA - Multimedia

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A Journey of Light Through Space and Time

This artist's animation depicts the 'life' of a photon, or particle of light, as it travels across space and time, from the very early universe to the Planck satellite. By creating maps of the oldest light in the universe, Planck scientists are learning about the epic journey of light through the cosmos. The mission's maps showing this ancient light, called the cosmic microwave background, have revealed the most precise information yet about the universe's fundamental traits, such as its age, contents and the seeds of all structure, without which we would not exist.

The light's journey begins just moments after the big bang that created our universe 13.8 billion years ago. At that time, the universe was a hot plasma of electrons, protons and photons (green and red balls, and blue linear particles, respectively). The light repeatedly bounces off electrons, and as result can't travel very far. Later, about 370,000 years after the big bang, the universe cools enough for the electrons and protons to get together to form hydrogen atoms. Electrons no longer get in the way of the light, and it is free to travel.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Source: NASA - Multimedia

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PARIS (AP) — New results from looking at the split-second after the Big Bang indicate the universe is 80 million years older than previously thought and provide ancient evidence supporting core concepts about the cosmos — how it began, what it’s made of and where it’s going.

The findings released Thursday bolster a key theory called inflation, which says the universe burst from subatomic size to its now-observable expanse in a fraction of a second. The new observations from the European Space Agency’s $900 million Planck space probe appear to reinforce some predictions made decades ago solely on the basis of mathematical concepts.

‘‘We've uncovered a fundamental truth of the universe,’’ said George Efstathiou, director of the Kavli Institute for Cosmology at the University of Cambridge who announced the Planck satellite mapping result in Paris. ‘‘There’s less stuff that we don’t understand by a tiny amount.’’

http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2013/03/21/universe-million-years-older-than-previously-thought/TWMRfIXCD9PjgnBjQlpGCI/story.html

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Render,

As your topic was about results from the Planck Mission released on Thursday I have merged it with the existing topic on those results. As your post addresses a specific conclusion of those results I have modified the topic description (under the title) to reflect this.

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When I was in college they were just learning the surface temperature of Venus and doubled the size of the universe by learning to distinguish between population I and population II stars. Trivial stuff compared to this.

Nothing I have read on it in the popular press that I can get on the internet address what to me is the main question -- does the geometry of the universe still seem to be flat. If it is, then reading between the lines in the Boston Globe article it means the universe of our present cosmos, let alone any others around, is infinite, with much of it still doing inflationary expansion. If I recall my physics correctly, that means it is still creating the Big Bang, filled with low entropy high-temperature energy.

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Render,

As your topic was about results from the Planck Mission released on Thursday I have merged it with the existing topic on those results. As your post addresses a specific conclusion of those results I have modified the topic description (under the title) to reflect this.

Okilidokili.

Thx.

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Well I found out that the universe still appears to be flat, and what is more that looking at the residue from the big bang will never reveal if there is any curvature as what we have now is as accurate as is possible, for reasons they didn't explain.

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