Images Reveal New Data on Early Moments of the Universe

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The inflation theory also predicted that the imprint of early structures would feature harmonic-like "peaks" in the temperature variations of the cosmic microwave background. But detection of those features was beyond the ability of the technology until recently.

The results reported by members of BOOMERANG and the Degree Angular Scale Interferometer appear to confirm the predicted peaks. The peaks were observed as variations in the temperature of the cosmic microwave background as small as 100 millionths of a degree.

MAXIMA data presented at the meetings in Washington are consistent with the existence of the peaks, as are the data of a fourth NSF-supported team, using the Cosmic Background Imager at the California Institute of Technology. The team reported its findings in the March 1 issue of the Astrophysical Journal.

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