This image unveiled March 21, 2013, shows the cosmic microwave background (CMB) as observed by the European Space Agency's Planck space observatory. The CMB is a snapshot of the oldest light in our Universe, imprinted on the sky when the Universe was just 380 000 years old. It shows tiny temperature fluctuations that correspond to regions of slightly different densities, representing the seeds of all future structure: the stars and galaxies of today.
Planck's All-Sky Map vs. Standard Model Credit: ESA and the Planck Collaboration This European Space Agency graphic shows a map of the universe that depicts the anomalies seen when comparing the Planck space observatory's map of the universe's cosmic microwave background and the standard model of the cosmos. Image released March 21, 2013.
In the last century, humans realized that space is filled with types of light we can’t see – from infrared signals released by hot stars and galaxies, to the cosmic microwave background that comes from every corner of the universe. Some of this invisible light that fills space takes the form of X-rays, the source of which has been hotly contended over the past few decades.It wasn’t until the flight of the DXL sounding rocket, short for Diffuse X-ray emission from the Local galaxy, that…
Some researchers think concentric ring patterns in measurements of the cosmic microwave background are evidence of a universe that existed before our own was born in the Big Bang. It took quite a bit more than seven days to create the universe as we know it today. SPACE.com looks at the mysteries of the heavens in our series: The History & Future of the Cosmos. This is Part 2 in that series.