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Posts Tagged ‘microwave radiation’

Planck Mission Brings Universe Into Sharp Focus


Image credit: ESA and the Planck Collaboration

Image credit: ESA and the Planck Collaboration

The Planck space mission has released the most accurate and detailed map ever made of the oldest light in the universe, revealing new information about its age, contents and origins.

Planck is a European Space Agency mission. NASA contributed mission-enabling technology for both of Planck’s science instruments, and U.S., European and Canadian scientists work together to analyze the Planck data.

The map results suggest the universe is expanding more slowly than scientists thought, and is 13.8 billion years old, 100 million years older than previous estimates. The data also show there is less dark energy and more matter, both normal and dark matter, in the universe than previously known. Dark matter is an invisible substance that can only be seen through the effects of its gravity, while dark energy is pushing our universe apart. The nature of both remains mysterious.

“Astronomers worldwide have been on the edge of their seats waiting for this map,” said Joan Centrella, Planck program scientist at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “These measurements are profoundly important to many areas of science, as well as future space missions. We are so pleased to have worked with the European Space Agency on such a historic endeavor.”

Full Story: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2013-109
Also: http://www.bis.gov.uk/ukspaceagency/news-and-events/2013/Mar/planck-challenges-our-understanding-of-the-universe
Also: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Planck/Planck_reveals_an_almost_perfect_Universe
Also: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2013-110
Also: http://www.ia.ucsb.edu/pa/display.aspx?pkey=2967
Also: http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S36/38/99C85/

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NASA TV News Conference To Discuss Planck Cosmology Findings


An artist's concept of the Planck spacecraft. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

An artist’s concept of the Planck spacecraft. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA will host a news conference at 8 a.m. PDT (11 a.m. EDT) Thursday, March 21, to discuss the first cosmology results from Planck, a European Space Agency mission with significant NASA participation.

The briefing will be held at NASA Headquarters in Washington. It will be broadcast live on NASA Television and streamed on the agency’s website.

Planck launched into space in 2009 and has been scanning the skies ever since, mapping cosmic microwave background, or the afterglow, of the big bang that created our universe more than 13 billion years ago.

Full Story: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2013-096&cid=release_2013-096
Broadcast Information: http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html

Building The Massive Simulation Sets Essential To Planck Results


To make the most precise measurement yet of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) – the remnant radiation from the big bang – the European Space Agency’s (ESA’s) Planck satellite mission has been collecting trillions of observations of the sky since the summer of 2009. On March 21, 2013, ESA and NASA, a major partner in Planck, will release preliminary cosmology results based on Planck’s first 15 months of data. The results have required the intense creative efforts of a large international collaboration, with significant participation by the U.S. Planck Team based at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

Strength in data analysis is a major U.S. contribution, including the resources of the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the expertise of scientists in Berkeley Lab’s Computational Cosmology Center (C3).

The cosmological signal in the CMB data set is tiny, and separating it from the overwhelming instrument noise and astrophysical foregrounds requires enormous data sets – Planck’s 72 detectors gather 10,000 samples per second as they sweep over the sky – and exquisitely precise analyses.

Full Story: http://newscenter.lbl.gov/news-releases/2013/03/14/massive-planck-simulations/

Explosion Of Galaxy Formation Lit Up Early Universe

September 5, 2012 Leave a comment

The South Pole Telescope recorded temperature fluctuations in the cosmic microwave background. Image Credit: South Pole Telescope Collaboration

New data from the South Pole Telescope indicates that the birth of the first massive galaxies that lit up the early universe was an explosive event, happening faster and ending sooner than suspected.

Extremely bright, active galaxies formed and fully illuminated the universe by the time it was 750 million years old, or about 13 billion years ago, according to Oliver Zahn, a postdoctoral fellow at the Berkeley Center for Cosmological Physics (BCCP) at the University of California, Berkeley, who led the data analysis.

The data provide new constraints on the universe’s first era of galaxy formation, called the Epoch of Reionization.

“We find that the Epoch of Reionization lasted less than 500 million years and began when the universe was at least 250 million years old,” Zahn said. “Before this measurement, scientists believed that reionization lasted 750 million years or longer, and had no evidence as to when reionization began.”

Full Story: http://newscenter.berkeley.edu/2012/09/04/explosion-of-galaxy-formation-lit-up-early-universe/

The Mystery Of Dark Matter May Be Near To Being Deciphered

September 5, 2012 Leave a comment

The ESA satellite Planck was launched on the 14th
of May 2009.

The universe is comprised of a large amount of invisible matter, dark matter. It fills the space between the galaxies and between the stars in the galaxies. Since the prediction of the existence of dark matter more than 70 years ago, all sorts of researchers – astronomers, cosmologists and particle physicists have been looking for answers to what it could be. With the latest observations from the Planck satellite, researchers from the Niels Bohr Institute, among others, may be closer than ever to a solution to the origin of the mysterious dark matter.

The Planck satellite, which was launched in 2009, has extremely sensitive instruments that can map microwave radiation in the entire sky with great precision. The latest data from the Planck mission reveals unusual radiation from our own galaxy, which open a new direction in understanding the most fundamental properties of the space, time and matter in the Universe.

It has simply not been possible to observe this radiation in such detail before, as previous instruments have not been sensitive enough. But with Planck, this unusual radiation is seen very clearly.

Full Story: http://www.nbi.ku.dk/english/news/news12/the-mystery-of-dark-matter-may-be-near-to-being-deciphered/