Using a British radio telescope called the Very Small Array (VSA), located on the flanks of Mount Teide in Tenerife, astronomers from the Universities of Manchester and Cambridge and the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias (IAC) have made measurements of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) - radiation left over from the Big Bang - which shed new light on events in the first minute fraction of the Universes existence.
By combining their results with those of NASA’s Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) satellite, they have been able to constrain the behaviour of the Universe during the inflationary phase believed to have taken place when it was only 10(-35) seconds old. If confirmed, these results will significantly challenge our current views of inflation and the first moments of creation.
Dr. Richard Davis of Jodrell Bank Observatory, University of Manchester, who was involved in the design and building of the VSA and leads the Jodrell Bank team, said, "From the holiday island of Tenerife we have probed the first moment of creation, when the Universe was a million-million-millionth of the size of the atom. Using this British-funded instrument, we see echoes of the crazy expansion which took place in the early Universe; it is quite incredible!"
Dr. Richard Battye | alfa
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