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Revised analysis rules out detection of gravitational waves
Posted: Sat, Jan 31, 2015, 9:09 AM ET (1409 GMT)
BICEP2 microwave telescope at South Pole (CfA) A joint analysis of data from a groundbased telescope and a European spacecraft has ruled out the detection of primordial gravitational waves that a team of astronomers announced last year. The European Space Agency said that astronomers, jointly analyzing data from ESA's Planck spacecraft as well as the groundbased BICEP2 experiment, could not confirm the detection of gravitational waves in the cosmic microwave background previously reported by the BICEP2 team in 2014. The polarized light detected by BICEP2 can be explained by the presence of interstellar dust, astronomers concluded, and thus is not evidence of gravitational waves. Astronomers had been looking for such waves as evidence of cosmic inflation in the instant after the Big Bang.
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