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First picture of the Universe PDF Print E-mail
Written by Daniel Marin   
Thursday, 26 June 2008

Light is the first messenger to tell us the story of the Universe. By studying light, we can observe the distant past. In the Big Bang story, the Universe became transparent to light when it was 300 000 years old. 
Then light began to travel through space to present times. As it travelled, its frequency changed from the visible to microwave.

This Cosmic Microwave Background is a “picture of this very early Universe”, the echo of the Big Bang and one of the main proofs of its existence. The very tiny fluctuations in the temperature of radiation measured by space satellites are the clues to density differences that became the seeds of galaxy formation. They are seen as coloured ripples on the first map of the Universe.


CMB
© NASA / WMAP Collaboration

In 1992, the COBE satellite and later WMAP, measured very tiny fluctuations in the cosmic microwave background radiation. These fluctuations can be interpreted as the future big structures of the Universe.
The European PLANCK satellite, which was launched in 2008, will increase the resolution of this very first “picture of the Universe”

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 22 September 2010 )
 
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