Planck captured the earliest light in the Universe Today’s Video of the Day from the European Space Agency (ESA) reveals the legacy of the Planck mission, which literally shed new light on the beginning of our Universe.
Between 2009 and 2013, Planck scanned the sky for microwave and infrared frequencies and mapped the very first light to ever emerge, including light that existed before the first stars or galaxies were formed. Planck captured the earliest light in the Universe as shown above shows The map, based on the mission’s first 15.5 months of all-sky observations, reveals tiny temperature fluctuations in the cosmic microwave background, ancient light that has traveled for billions of years from the very early universe to reach us.
The patterns of light represent the seeds of galaxies and clusters of galaxies we see around us today. Planck launched in 2009 and has been scanning the skies ever since, mapping the cosmic microwave background, the afterglow of the theorized big bang that created our universe. This relic radiation provides scientists with a snapshot of the universe 370,000 years after the big bang. The data imply that the age of the Universe is 13.82 billion years. “With the most accurate and detailed maps of the microwave sky ever made, Planck is painting a new picture of the Universe that is pushing us to the limits of understanding current cosmological theories,” says Jan Tauber, ESA’s Planck Project Scientist.
By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer
Video Credit: European Space Agency