Cosmic background: 51 years ago, an accidental discovery sparked a big bang in astrophysics

ON NEW YEAR’S DAY 2015, A BALLOON-BORNE SPACECRAFT ascended above Antarctica and snapped crisp photos of space, unobscured by the humidity of Earth’s atmosphere. Meanwhile, a telescope located 4,000 miles to the north, in the Continue Reading →

Telescopes take the universe’s temperature

Two telescopes on a Chilean mountaintop are poised to tell us much about the universe in its infancy. They are surveying the faint temperature fluctuations left over from the explosive birth of the universe, with Continue Reading →

Planck mission brings universe into sharp focus

Princeton researchers contributed extensively to the Planck space mission that earlier this year released the most accurate and detailed map ever made of the oldest light in the universe, revealing new information about its age, Continue Reading →

Detection of cosmic effect may bring universe’s formation into sharper focus

The first observation of a cosmic effect theorized 40 years ago could provide astronomers with a more precise tool for understanding the forces behind the universe’s formation and growth, including the enigmatic phenomena of dark energy and dark matter. A large Continue Reading →