Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Planck's First Hi-Res Image

Researchers on the Planck telescope, the biggest cosmology experiment in nearly a decade, have released their first full sky map of the cosmic microwave background.

The image shows the Milky Way as a bright, horizontal band through the centre with "streamers" of cold dust extending above and below. But the interesting part to researchers is the scattering of yellow flecks in the red background. These oldest photons in the universe are thought to have been generated about 380,000 years after the Big Bang, when matter was finally cool enough to start forming atoms.

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