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The detailed, all-sky picture of the infant universe created from seven years of WMAP data. The image reveals 13.7 billion year old temperature fluctuations (shown as color differences) that correspond to the seeds that grew to become the galaxies. The signal from the our Galaxy was subtracted using the multi-frequency data. This image shows a temperature range of ± 200 microKelvin. Credit: NASA / WMAP Science Team
The Expanding Universe In 1998, astrophysicists discovered a baffling phenomenon: the Universe is expanding at an ever-faster rate. Either an enigmatic force called dark energy is to blame or a reworking of gravitational theory is in order. In this new Science Bulletins video, watch a Fermilab team assemble the Dark Energy Camera, a device that could finally solve this space-stretching mystery.
WMAP data reveals that its contents include 4.6% atoms, the building blocks of stars and planets. Dark matter comprises 23% of the universe. This matter, different from atoms, does not emit or absorb light. It has only been detected indirectly by its gravity. 72% of the universe, is composed of “dark energy”, that acts as a sort of anti-gravity. This energy, distinct from dark matter, is responsible for the present-day acceleration of the universal expansion. WMAP data is accurate to two digits, so the total of these numbers is not 100%. This reflects the current limits of WMAP’s ability to define Dark Matter and Dark Energy. Credit: NASA / WMAP Science Team