Best maps of the universe, bugs and all

By Andrew Grant, 16:49 PM November 15, 2013

Maps from the European Space Agency’s Planck satellite reveal the cosmos in a range of microwave and infrared frequencies.

Planck’s primary mission was to precisely measure the cosmic microwave background, or CMB, which is 13.8-billion-year-old radiation that allows astronomers to probe the universe’s first moments (SN: 12/28/13, p. 21). The CMB appears as speckles; blue regions are slightly colder than the average CMB temperature of 2.7 kelvins, while orange ones are warmer.

To study these tin...

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