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Wednesday, 26 March 2008 21:16

NASA's WMAP space probe says universe is 13.73 billion years old

The NASA Wilkinson Microwave Anisotrpy Probe (WMAP) analyzed the cosmic microwave background radiation, which was left over from the Big Bang, to find the most precise age of the universe yet measured: 13.73 billion years.

Cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation is the glow that was left over after the birth of the universe, what scientists call the Big Bang. The WMAP is able to observe the radiation in the universe when it was only 380,000 years old.

At such an early age, the universe only contained primordial clumps that eventually developed into galaxies and galaxy clusters.

After five years on analysis, scientists also found that the universe is made up of 23.3% of dark matter, 4.6% of ordinary matter, and 72.1% of dark energy.

In addition, the scientists found that stars began to shine in the universe no earlier than 430 million years after the Big Bang.

The scientists state that this more precise measurement for the age of the universe is very important for testing theoretical models for the origin of the universe and the formation of galaxies and stars.

For additional information on this discovery by NASA’s WMAP probe, please read The New York Times article “Gauging Age of Universe Becomes More Precise .”


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