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“Our ultimate goal would be to construct a new model that predicts the anomalies and links them together. One way to explain the anomalies is to propose that the Universe is in fact not the same in all directions on a larger scale than we can observe. This all-sky image of the cosmic microwave background, created by the European Space Agency's Planck satellite, shows echoes of the Big Bang left … “This project focussing on the CIB is a great example of the cooperation between researchers studying galaxies and those interested in the CMB, since the methods and expertise have been shared between the two groups,” adds Olivier Doré, co-leader of this study, from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory/Caltech in Pasadena, USA. This is emitted by galaxies in the early Universe, but which are so far away that they blur together when seen by Planck. Planck continues to survey the universe. "The data we're releasing now are from what lies between us and the cosmic microwave background," said Charles Lawrence, the U.S. project scientist for Planck at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. As yet, scientists can't see beyond the cosmic microwave background, which blocks the first 380,000 years of the universe from view. While observing the Cosmic Microwave Background, Planck has also measured another important diffuse radiation: the Cosmic Infrared Background (CIB). These cloaked galaxies formed stars at astonishing rates, some 10 to 1,000 times higher than we see in our own galaxy today, and are some of the coldest places in the universe. Although this primordial epoch can’t be observed directly, the theory predicts a set of very subtle imprints on the CMB map. This all-sky image of the cosmic microwave background, created by the European Space Agency's Planck satellite, shows echoes of the Big Bang left over from the dawn of the universe. And that’s exciting,” says Professor Efstathiou.

Now, the CIB has been seen at the lowest frequency (longest wavelength) so far, by Planck’s 217 GHz detectors. The mission is aimed at taking some of the most detailed data yet on the cosmic microwave background, a relic of the Big Bang's explosion — which, 13.7 billion years on, still hangs around the universe as a pocked veil of radiation. As well as explaining many properties of the Universe as a whole, this initial expansion caused the ripples in the CMB that we see today. Please refresh the page and try again. The CIB, which is about 50 times weaker than the CMB, is produced by the dust within the distant galaxies, which is warmed by the stars forming within. Receive mail from us on behalf of our trusted partners or sponsors? Yes, there's a video. Future US, Inc. 11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor, NY 10036. Its next data release is scheduled for January 2013. Planck's new catalog includes some of the coldest of these dusty star nurseries ever seen, with temperatures as low as seven degrees above absolute zero. “The CMB temperature fluctuations detected by Planck confirm once more that the relatively simple picture provided by the standard model is an amazingly good description of the Universe,” explains George Efstathiou of the University of Cambridge, UK. The remarkable results achieved thus far are an exciting hint at the even more precise measurements which will be possible once the study is extended to the full-sky data. The new map refines our understanding of the Universe’s composition and evolution, and unveils new features that could challenge the foundations of our current understanding of its evolution. The light from these galaxies has been travelling for billions of years, and some of the galaxies are seen as they were when the Universe was only around 2 billion years old – more than 11 billion years ago. Planck takes measurements at wavelengths between the infrared and radio — not in visible light — that reveal an otherwise invisible population of galaxies shrouded in dust, billions of years in the past.

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