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Astronomers find more evidence for Big Bang, inflation
Posted: Fri, Mar 17, 2006, 8:04 AM ET (1304 GMT)
WMAP image of CMBR, March 2006 (NASA) Scientists analyzing data from a NASA spacecraft said Thursday they have found new evidence that the universe underwent a sharp expansion in the first trillionth of a second after the Big Bang. Astronomers used data from the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) to study the polarization of the cosmic microwave background, the radiation that dates back to a few hundred thousand years after the Big Bang. Analysis of variations in the microwave background have provided additional evidence for the inflation model of the Big Bang, where the universe expanded tremendously in the first instant after the Big Bang itself. The study also found that the first stars formed about 400 million years after the Big Bang, about twice as old as earlier estimates but more in line with current theories of stellar formation.
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