EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Universe timeline, artwork. Following the Big Bang (lower left), the temperature of the universe was about 1 thousand million degrees Kelvin. As the universe expanded and cooled matter began to form and recombine. Recombination was complete about 380,000 years after the Big Bang. Stars and galaxies (centre) formed in a pattern determined by the original variations in temperature shown by the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB, second image from left). Earth is at right. Missions such as the Planck space observatory are designed to study the CMB to reveal the early history of the universe.
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