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Cosmic microwave background polarisation

Cosmic microwave background polarisation

C023/7782

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Credit

PLANCK COLLABORATION / EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PLANCK COLLABORATION / EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption

Cosmic microwave background polarisation. Whole sky Planck observatory image of polarisation in the cosmic microwave background (CMB), the relic radiation from the Big Bang billions of years ago at a time when the universe was 380,000 years old. Tiny changes in the temperature and changes in the polarisation in the CMB both contain information about the evolution and structure of today's galaxies. Here, the colour scale represents temperature differences, while the texture indicates the direction of the polarised light. The European Space Agency's Planck space observatory operated from 2009 to 2012. This image was published in 2015.

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