Feeds

Astronomers glimpse newborn universe

13.7 billion-year-old microwave

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

PolMap 36The oldest light in the universe has allowed scientists to view the universe just one trillionth of a second after the Big Bang.

NASA's Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) satellite was aimed at the background radiation left over from the beginning of the universe for three years. Principal invesigator Charles Bennett said: "The longer WMAP observes, the more it reveals about how our universe grew from microscopic quantum fluctuations to the vast expanse of stars and galaxies we see today."

The work has improved the resolution of the map of tiny fluctuations in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) left over from the Big Bang (pictured). It has also produced the first data on the polarisation of the CMB, which reveals even more about the features it contains.

In the team's map of the cosmic microwave background 'temperature' (pictured above) red indicates 'warmer' spots and blue 'cooler' spots. The white bars show the polarisation direction of the ancient light. The data shows that for smaller features the relative strength of the signal is lower. NASA says this new information supports a more simple version of how energy was converted into matter by the inflation of space.

WMAP continues to peer at the infant universe, which the researchers expect will improve their data. A big aim of the study is to provide indirect evidence for the existence of gravitational waves by detecting distortion in the polarisation signature. Gravitational waves are a key prediction of Einstein's General Relativity equations. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
Human spacecraft dodge COMET CHUNKS pelting off Mars
Odyssey orbiter yet to report, though - comet's trailing trash poses new threat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.