Friday, October 25, 2013

Makeup of Universe Before and After Planck Research

Planck's high-precision cosmic microwave background map has allowed scientists to extract the most refined values yet of the Universe's ingredients. Normal matter that makes up stars and galaxies contributes just 4.9% of the Universe's mass/energy inventory. Dark matter, which is detected indirectly by its gravitational influence on nearby matter, occupies 26.8%, while dark energy, a mysterious force thought to be responsible for accelerating the expansion of the Universe, accounts for 68.3%.

The 'before Planck' figure is based on the WMAP 9-year data release presented by Hinshaw et al., (2012).

Illustration credit: ESA

Note: For more information, see Last Command Sent to ESA's Planck Space Telescope; also, PIA17449: Planck and the Cosmic Microwave Background (Artist Concept) and Last Command Sent to Planck Space Telescope.

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