Universe’s baby picture revealed, after 9 years of WMAP data gathering (Photo)

By on Dec 24, 2012 in Astronomy Comments

A group of astronomers recently released the so-called universe’s baby picture, shown in the photo below. The said image was accomplished after nine years of data gathering made by the science team of Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP), which retired in October 2010.

According to a report at Space.com on Friday, December 21, 2012, the detailed, all-sky image of the new ‘baby picture’ of the universe maps the hot temperature of the radiation that was left over from the Big Bang, at a time when the universe was only 375,000 years old, a small fraction of its current age of around 13.77 billion years.

As noted in the report, the universe’s latest ‘baby picture’ shows a plus-or-minus 200 microKelvin range of temperature with changes in the so-called cosmic microwave background radiation that appears in the differences in its colors, which allowed the astronomers to predict what most likely have happened earlier.

“We are just a speck in the vastness of the universe, so it is amazing that we have the ability to answer fundamental questions about the vast universe around us, but the WMAP team has done just that,” Charles Bennett, a Johns Hopkins University astrophysicist and the leader of the the team, told the paper.

“It was possible because we can detect and study the ancient light, the oldest light in the universe. The universe encoded its autobiography in the microwave patterns we observe across the whole sky. When we decoded it, the universe revealed its history and contents.” Bennett added.

As noted at NASA.gov, the WMAP spacecraft was launched on June 30, 2001 from Florida and was developed in a joint partnership between Princeton University and the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. The addition of Wilkinson was made in 2003, in honor of cosmologist David Todd Wilkinson, who was once a member of the mission’s science team and passed away in 2002.

Apparently, among the other revelations revealed from the data from WMAP reportedly include a much more nearly accurate estimate of how old now is the universe, as well the confirmation that around 95 percent of the universe is composed of “stuff” dubbed as dark matter and dark energy.


Universe's baby picture
Universe’s baby picture
Image Credit: NASA/WMAP Science Team


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