NASA went ahead and announced that they have figured out the NEW true age of the Universe.  The Planck space telescope made accurate measurements and created a map of the Universe, and it indicates that the Universe is older than we previously thought.  Much older.

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The data in the Map was very accurate and it reveals that our little bubble of reality is 13.82 billion year old.  That’s almost 100 million years older than we previously thought. The Planck telescope, names for noted physicist Max Planck, was launched in 2009 by the ESA, and can pick up even the slightest traces of Radio Waves and Microwaves.

The telescope took 15 months of observations and revealed the oldest background noises from a baby Universe.

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The dark areas of the map indicate areas with more mass, while less mass shows up as lighter in colour.  Charles Lawrence, a project scientist with NASA’s JPL explains the map like this:

[…”as that ancient light travels to us, matter acts like an obstacle course, getting in its way and changing patterns slightly”…]

The map also creates some new mysteries for cosmologists:  if our universe was created all at once, the map should be more or less uniform.  The data from the Planck telescope, however, doesn’t exactly match this theory.   The patterns are asymmetrical in two halves of our sky, but there is a spot in a particular part of the sky that is larger than we expect it should me:

[…”on one hand, we have a simple model that fits our observations extremely well, but on the other hand, we see some strange features which force us to rethink some of our basic assumptions.”…]

According to the new data, the Universe is expanding at a slower rate that expected, and there is also less Dark Matter than there ought to be.  Dark Matter itself is still a very mysterious substance, and scientists aren’t sure what its rarity means.

This new data redefines our basic understanding of how we think the Universe was created and formed.

As our technology evolves and our assumptions are challenged, how will our understanding of the Universe we live in change?  What do we truly know about the universe in which we live?

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3 COMMENTS

    • Thanks for the read David! 2% may not seem like much (its actually less than .1%), but 100 million years sure is a big deal to us Humans.

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