While other satellite observatories zoom in on exoplanets or snap photos of star birth on faraway galaxies, the European Space Agency's Planck Telescope is studying the bigger picture. After a year in service, the observatory has surveyed the cosmos and provided researchers with its first all-sky image, a snapshot of the entire universe as viewed from Planck's position in the sky.
The image is exactly what the Planck mission was designed to produce, but the milestone picture of the universe is just the beginning from a scientific standpoint. Said the ESA's Director of Science and Robotic Exploration David Southwood in a press release: "We're not giving the answer. We are opening the door to an Eldorado where scientists can seek the nuggets that will lead to deeper understanding of how our Universe came to be and how it works now. The image itself and its remarkable quality is a tribute to the engineers who built and have operated Planck. Now the scientific harvest must begin."
Continuing with the harvest metaphor, the all-sky image should provide a scientific bounty. The bright disk running through the middle of the pic is our own Milky Way Galaxy. The wispy blue trails of gas and dust protruding from the center disk are regions where stars are violently forming as the makings of the universe come together. But most interesting to astronomers are the fringes at the top and bottom of the image, where the yellow and magenta regions represent the oldest light in the universe, leftover from the Big Bang that exploded the cosmos into existence some 13.7 billion years ago.
That light is the CMBR (cosmic microwave background radiation) invisible to the naked eye but quite discernable to Planck's battery of sensors that measure light at the longest wavelengths. The CMBR actually covers the entire sky but is overshadowed in the center of the image by the emission of the Milky Way. By the time ESA researchers are through processing the data, they'll have removed the Milky Way, revealing the best look of the CMBR ever obtained. From that, astronomers should be able to glean lots of data regarding the early life of the universe and the means by which the current state of things came to be.
That first all-CMBR scan isn't slated for release until sometime in 2012, when Planck has completed four all-sky scans. In the meantime, it will log individual objects within our galaxy as well as other galaxies in the sky, producing an updated cosmic catalog early next year.
Of course the real universe is composed of multiple big bangs and all we can observe is our own private universe. In reality there are an infinite number of universes and the space it accomodates is infinite as well. Too bad scientists there days are so pig headed they can only understand what they can see (observe).
I thought science was about observation and religion about what you can't?
Science is all about being testable. What you are proposing is something that is, thus far, untestable, and therefore unscientific.
Of course you would know the truth, in reality, you know everything.
Too bad ordinary people are so pig headed they think they're much smarter than the people building and operating a telescope that can create a photo of the entire universe, because im sure that your extensive knowledge dwarfs the meager information that these people who have dedicated their lives to the study of the universe hold within their diminutive brains.
Gizmowiz is actually pretty right, I dont know about the Allverse being composed of multiple Big Bangs, but these scientists are not looking at the entire universe....truthfully to our "knowledge" it is impossible to see the entirety of the universe due to our restriction on the distance that we can see. what the telescope is actually viewing is the distance to the point of our confined universal horizon. like how you can't visually see the point past the suns horizon,it's pretty similar.
Gizmowiz has an interesting THEORY that OTHERS have come up with long before he wrote it here. Thats all it can be for now is a theory. Its a theory that we are all just a tiny part of a big collective consciousness. That is just as true as multiple big bangs in our universe. or just as not true.
so more or less this is a reverse-timeline?
invert the picture and you get the birth-to present of the universe? or am i just thinking randomly
@Mescha Furthest away = youngest, closest = oldest due to the speed of light. It took X number of years for us to see it, which means we are seeing an image of something X number of years ago. I think that's what you're asking?
I think it is hard to conceive that they have a picture of the entire universe.
It may be all that is seen, but to say it is everything is not possible.
"Then I beheld all the work of God, that a man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun: because though a man labour to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yea further; though a wise man think to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it."
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I agree with the first person that posted here. There are multiple universes (uncountable ones)
the universe isnt a set object but a plane of gravity and infinite space thus can not be pictured or controled
I should think that many of us can do what it does, and look at the larger picture for a sec....now, is it possible to use our field of vision and the distances between things in our wavelength "zero point" studies? Baseline anticipation of energy fluctuations in space will be important for deep space communications, and eventually, a critical component of high velocity transit for humans. As we will never be able to model everything out there, we need to build a construct for a probability matrix.