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Planck data refine age and composition of universe
Posted: Fri, Mar 22, 2013, 8:31 AM ET (1231 GMT)
Planck image of CMBR, March 2013 (ESA) Analysis of observations of the cosmic microwave background by a European spacecraft have led astronomers to conclude the universe is slightly older, and with slightly more matter, than previously calculated. ESA released on Thursday the first cosmic microwave background data from its Planck mission, launched in 2009, giving astronomers the most detailed look yet at this remnant light from the Big Bang. The data showed a slightly lower rate of the expansion of the universe, a value called the Hubble constant, which results in an age of the universe of 13.82 billion years, about 100 million years older than previous estimates. The Planck results show more ordinary matter, 4.9% of the universe versus 4.5%, and dark matter, 26.8% versus 22.7%; dark energy, which comprises the rest, has gone done. The Planck data, while supporting the inflation theory of the Big Bang, do reveal an asymmetry not explained by conventional models.
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