Historical photographs

Big Bang stuff. The advances in astronomy

Big Bang stuff. The advances in astronomy

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On the icy ice near the south pole, increasingly sophisticated instruments are listening to hear a more precise echo of how our universe began.

In April 2001, using three of these instruments, independent collaborations announced the evidence that the noises heard are consistent with our universe containing only about five percent of normal matter and 95 percent of dark matter or dark energy. This amount of normal matter was expected while our universe has experienced a particularly explosive early phase of the Big Bang known as inflation.

Actually, the measurements were made on the 1/10 degree angular scale by detecting slight fluctuations of the microwave light that take place in the cosmic background radiation. It is thought that these fluctuations are caused by the movement of sound waves that took place at the beginning of the universe.

Pictured above we find the remote receiver of the Degree Angular Scale Interferometer (DASI) that registered one of the data groups.

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Compton ObservatoryData center
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