The European Space Agency has released a new map showing the first light of the Universe that challenges some of the fundamental principles of the Big Bang theory, the agency announced in a press release on Thursday (March 21st).
This latest Cosmic Micro Wave Background Map from Planck - ESA's mission to investigate the origins of the Universe - questions some the concepts behind the basic theory of the expansion of the universe, commonly known as Inflationary Theory.
"We see these strange patterns that are not expected in inflationary theory, the simplest inflationary theories. It may be that we've been fooled, that inflation didn't happen. It's perfectly possible that there was some phase of the universe before the Big Bang actually happened where you can track the history of the universe to a period, a pre-big bang period," said George Efstathiou, Professor of Astrophysics at Cambridge University.
In constant rotation, Planck scans the entire sky at millimetre and sub-millimetre wavelengths. Visible-light telescopes see little more than the tapestry of galaxies around us, but by making measurements at wavelengths between the infrared and radio, Planck is able to work back in time and show us the history of the Universe from the first light ever produced, according to ESA.
These fossil radiations resulting from the Big Bang are called "The Cosmic Microwave Background", known as CMB.
"The CMB gives us a picture of the state of the universe 300, 000 years after the Big Bang, and using a model to extrapolate we can then move backwards in time to even earlier times than when that light was emitted, and we can infer what the phenomena around the time of the Big Bang were," said Jan Tauber, Planck Project Scientist.
What's surprising in Planck's latest findings, and is inconsistent with pervading theories, is the presence of unexpected large scale anomalies in the sky, including a large cold region, stronger fluctuations in one half of the sky than the other and less light signal than expected across the entire sky, ESA said in the press release.
With its extreme accuracy, Planck was expected to revolutionise our understanding of the birth, evolution and ultimate fate of our Universe. It's this very accuracy that may now make it necessary for scientists to rethink some of the underlying theories of how the Universe began, and how it is evolving.
Presented by Adam Justice