February 5, 2015

Planck reveals that the first stars were born late

New maps from ESA's Planck satellite uncover the "polarised" light from the early Universe across the entire sky, revealing that the first stars formed much later than previously thought.

Between 2009 and 2013, Planck surveyed the sky to study this ancient light in unprecedented detail. Tiny differences in the background's temperature trace regions of slightly different density in the early cosmos, representing the seeds of all future structure, the stars and galaxies of today.

Polarization of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) seen by Planck - © ESA - collaboration Planck/E. Hivon/CNRS
Polarization of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) seen by Planck - © ESA - collaboration Planck/E. Hivon/CNRS

Scientists from the Planck collaboration have published the results from the analysis of these data in a large number of scientific papers over the past two years, confirming the standard cosmological picture of our Universe with ever greater accuracy.

Read the complete news on ESA website.