Thanks to data gathered by the European Space Agency’s Planck space telescope, researchers recently released the most detailed map ever of the cosmic microwave background (CMB). The CMB – the first light of the universe – is relic radiation from the Big Bang and gives scientists a picture of what the universe looked like 300,000 years later.
Using models to extrapolate additional information, researchers are able to move even further back in time. Planck’s findings, however, are so precise that they reveal discrepancies in even their best model, challenging the foundations of our current understanding of the universe. In fact, certain unexplained features may even require new physics to be understood.
- Amber Harmon