The Farthest We Can Ever See into the Universe

Earlier this week on Sept. 17th 2009, the European Space Agency released first light images of its Planck telescope. The Planck observatory scans the sky using highly sensitive detectors that measure tiny variations of temperature in the Cosmic mi

197960 Views | Published on 21st Sep, 2009

Earlier this week on Sept. 17th 2009, the European Space Agency released first light images of its Planck telescope.

The Planck observatory scans the sky using highly sensitive detectors that measure tiny variations of temperature in the Cosmic microwave background.

At the beginning of the universe, the temperatures were very high, everywhere the temperatures were around 3,000 degrees - and as it expanded, over the course of 13.5 billion years, the universe cooled to just under three degrees.

But the universe did not cool uniformly everywhere. Red parts are slightly hotter than the blue parts. These changes give clues to what the universe was like early in its life, as well as help us understand the distribution of galaxies everywhere and even help us determine the shape of the universe today.

These images are pictures of the universe when it was just a few hundred thousand years old, this is the farthest back in time we can ever see and they tell us not only where we've been, but help us understand where we're going.

This has been another infinite minute.

Here is the press release of the first light images from Planck:

http://www.esa.int/esaSC/SEM5CMFWNZF_index_1.html

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