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Early universe image shows "seeds" of galaxies
Posted: Fri, May 24, 2002, 8:04 AM ET (1204 GMT)
Cosmic microwave background variations (NSF) An image of the very early universe released Thursday includes features that astronomers believe are "seeds" of galaxies yet to form. Astronomers used the Cosmic Background Imager, a specialized telescopes in Chile, to study minute variations in the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMBR), which dates back to just 300,000 years after the Big Bang. The data was able to discern variations as small as 10 millionths of a degree, a sensitivity required because the CMBR is nearly uniform. The variations seen in the CMBR are believed to be precursors of the first clusters of galaxies. The results are also consistent with the inflation model of the Big Bang, which postulates that the universe rapid expanded the first instant after the Big Bang.
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