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Image courtesy NASA/WMAP Science Team
The Oldest Light in the Universe
News story originally written on February 14, 2003
NASA scientists have taken a "snapshot" picture of the oldest light
in the universe. The picture shows what is left of light given off during the big
bang. The light is over 13 billion years old! The old light has turned into microwave
radiation, like the energy used to cook in a microwave oven.
The picture of the old light was made by a spacecraft called WMAP. WMAP
measured the age of the universe. Scientists now think the universe is almost 14
billion years old. WMAP also shows that the first stars
started to shine about 200 million years after the big bang. That is much
earlier than scientists expected.
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