The European Space Agency'sPlanck satellite has been gathering data since its launch in 2009, slowly building up a map of the cosmic microwave background radiation -- a distant remnant of the Big Bang. The resulting image, seen above, is the most detailed ever put together of the cold glow that uniformly covers the universe, taking us all the way back to just a 380,000 years after the explosive inflation that gave birth to all matter, energy and time. There were some surprises, including more extreme temperature fluctuations between hemispheres than predicted by the standard model and confirmation of a pronounced cold spot that can no longer be dismissed as an artifact of previous satellite instruments. For more about just what Planck has taught us, along with a few more visualizations, check out the source link.
Source:European Space Agency