A map of the Universe when it was just 300,000 years old is #7 on Discover magazine’s list of Top 100 Stories of 2010. The map comes from the Planck space telescope, launched by the European Space Agency in 2009 and now sitting in space almost a million miles from Earth.
UC Davis physics professor Lloyd Knox is leading the U.S. side of the effort to analyze the data from Planck. By providing a more precise and detailed map of the sky, Planck will help cosmologists test theories about the beginning and early development of the universe. Planck’s predescessor, the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe or WMAP, lead to major advances in our understanding of the Big Bang — and to several Nobel Prizes.
Previously on Egghead: First images from Planck space telescope