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Most accurate map of oldest light in the universe published by European Space Agency

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Map of universe light 380,000 years after the Big Bang, captured by the <a href="http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/spaceimages/details.php?id=PIA16873" target="new">European Space Agency's Planck spacecraft.</a>
Map of universe light 380,000 years after the Big Bang, captured by the European Space Agency's Planck spacecraft.

European scientists earlier today released the most accurate map yet of the light released shortly after the Big Bang, when the universe was just 380,000 years old (the universe is now thought to be 13.8 billion years old). The results indicate that the universe is slightly older than previously thought, by about 100 million years, and that it's expanding slower than most scientists believed. Scientists were also able to capture sound waves from the early universe as part of the study. Still, "our blueprint of the cosmos is far from complete," said Jean-Jacques Dordain, director of the European Space Agency, in a statement published online today. The results were captured by a year-plus survey conducted by ESA's Planck space observatory, located nearly a million miles away from Earth.