Cosmic probe finds microwave 'haze'

2012-02-14 19:47
Paris - A probe designed to delve into the "Big Bang" that created the cosmos has uncovered an enigmatic fog of microwave radiation in the centre of our galaxy, European astronomers reported.

Planck, a billion-dollar European space telescope launched in May 2009, found "a mysterious haze of microwaves that presently defies explanation" during a scan of the centre of the Milky Way, the European Space Agency (ESA) said.

It could be a form of energy called synchrotron emission, which occurs when electrons zip through magnetic fields after being accelerated by the blast of an exploding star, or supernova.

But the newly discovered emission is something of a mystery, as its signature lingers far longer compared with other synchrotron sources spotted in the Milky Way.

Several explanations have been offered, ranging from higher rates of supernovae in the galactic centre to the annihilation of so-called dark matter particles, ESA said in a press release.

Planck, deployed in orbit 1.5 million kilometres from Earth, is designed to pick up tiny variations in temperature in microwave energy released after the Big Bang that created the universe some 14 billion years ago.

Scientists looking at the data have to filter out a haze of microwave emissions that obscure the precious telltale, known as Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) radiation.

The new results are being presented this week at a conference in Bologna, Italy, which is looking at the intermediate results from the mission.

Planck has also located concentrations of carbon monoxide among the clouds of cold gas in the Milky Way and other galaxies that are a reservoir for making stars.
Read more on:    astronomy

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

linking and moving

2015-04-22 07:36

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.