Two Cosmic Microwave Background anomalies hinted at by the Planck observatory's predecessor, NASA's WMAP, are confirmed in new high-precision data revealed on March 21, 2013. In this image, the two anomalous regions have been enhanced with red and blue shading to make them more clearly visible.
Credit: ESA and the Planck Collaboration
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Editor's Note: In this weekly series, SPACE.com explores how technology drives space exploration and discovery.
While we may never know all the details of our universe's explosive birth, scientists have been able to piece together quite a bit by studying the ancient light that saturates the cosmos.
The universe burst into existence 13.8 billion years ago in a "Big Bang" that blew space up like a giant balloon. For nearly 400,000 years after that, the universe remained a seething-hot, opaque fog of plasma and energy.
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