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Birth of a universe

March 21, 2013

The European Space Agency ESA has published a groundbreaking photo that shows "relic radiation," light that dates back to the Big Bang. Scientists hope the new detailed map will help their understanding of the universe.


The ESA's new map, which it published on Thursday, was compiled using images collected by the space agency's Planck satellite.

"This is a giant leap in our understanding of the origins of the universe," the ESA Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain told reporters in Paris.

Thanks to the collected data, experts were able to determine that the universe has been expanding at a slower rate than previously believed, making it about 80 million years older.

"This image is the closest one yet of the Big Bang. You are looking 13.8 billion years ago."

According to the Big Bang theory, the visible portion of the universe was once smaller than an atom. It then exploded within the period of a less than a second, cooled and expanded faster than the speed of light.

kms/hc (AFP, AP)

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