Astrophys. Contact: info@stuffin.space. If the probability of dark matter particles colliding was as high back then as it is now, Planck would have detected their imprint on the CMB2. If Earth were stationary, that would be the end of the story. MAP is the second satellite in the series of Medium Class Explorer (MIDEX) missions. Theory predicts that at high energies, the ratio of positrons to electrons ought to be lower than it is at lower energies. Several hundred undergraduates and 55 high-school students also participated, including astronaut Sally Ride and eventual Nobel Laureate Eric Cornell.". And they created a device to measure the spin of a gyro--without touching the gyro. What matters in science — and why — free in your inbox every weekday. The mission was selected by NASA in 1996, the result of an open competition held in 1995. The latest CMB data from Planck are now converging on the quasar value, says Mandolesi. Astronom. WMAP is collecting high-quality science data in its L2 orbit. But observations of quasar light have suggested that the stars could have formed between 700 million and 800 million years after the birth of the Universe4. Free from external forces, the gyroscope's axis should continue pointing at the star--forever. "We measured a geodetic precession of 6.600 plus or minus 0.017 arcseconds and a frame dragging effect of 0.039 plus or minus 0.007 arcseconds," says Everitt. 208, 20 (2013). But after a year of data-taking and nearly five years of analysis, the GP-B scientists appear to have done it. Pulling off the experiment was an exceptional challenge. The all-sky map shows the direction of the polarization as black lines, while the colour scale indicates the polarization intensity, increasing from white to black. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will see comments updating in real-time and have the ability to recommend comments to other users. Phys. Gravity, says Einstein, is simply the motion of objects following the curvaceous lines of the dimple. The science team has produced the most detailed version a full sky map of the faint anisotropy or variations in the temperature of the cosmic microwave background radiation. "One day," he predicts, "this will be written up in textbooks as one of the classic experiments in the history of physics.". An earlier version of this article stated, incorrectly, that Dick Bond is not a member of the Planck collaboration. Our award-winning show features highlights from the week's edition of Nature, interviews with the people behind the science, and in-depth commentary and analysis from journalists around the world. The results of Gravity Probe B give physicists renewed confidence that the strange predictions of Einstein's theory are indeed correct, and that these predictions may be applied elsewhere. "This is an epic result," adds Clifford Will of Washington University in St. Louis. The new Planck maps also remove an apparent mismatch between Planck and WMAP data concerning such cosmic parameters as the density and distribution of matter, Bouchet notes. We were just blown away," says Will. NASA funding for Gravity Probe B began in the fall of 1963. 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How do Earth, the planets, and the heliosphere respond? "The space-time around Earth appears to be distorted just as general relativity predicts," says Stanford University physicist Francis Everitt, principal investigator of the Gravity Probe B mission. The space observatory has produced the most detailed full-sky survey yet of the cosmic microwave background (CMB), radiation left over from the explosive birth of the Universe some 13.8 billion years ago. An arcsecond is 1/3600th of a degree. An earlier version of this article stated, incorrectly, that according to Planck's observations, the probability of collision of dark-matter particles must remain the same over time to account for the structure of the Universe. The Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) is a NASA Explorer mission that launched June 2001 to make fundamental measurements of cosmology -- the study of the properties of our universe as a whole. “The standard cosmological model is in very good shape,” says theorist Dick Bond of the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics at the University of Toronto, who is part of the Planck collaboration. According to calculations, the twisted space-time around Earth should cause the axes of the gyros to drift merely 0.041 arcseconds over a year. Both values are in precise accord with Einstein's predictions. "Overall, the standard model seems to continue to fit very well, error bars have gone down and nothing anomalous has yet shown up,” he says. Preliminary maps released last year had used just the first 15 months of data, and had only contained data about the temperature. He has degrees in mathematics and in science writing. "If you tried to spin a gyroscope in the severely twisted space-time around a black hole," says Will, "it wouldn't just gently precess by a fraction of a degree. This epic might just be getting started, after all…. Earlier this year, the team released maps of the polarization caused by galactic dust, which must be subtracted to reveal the background of primordial radiation. Credit: Joe Bergeron of Sky & Telescope magazine. [, One of the super-spherical gyroscopes of Gravity Probe B. Stuff in Space. WMAP has been stunningly successful, producing our new Standard Model of Cosmology. Although they appear to rule out one class of dark-matter models, the latest Planck data confirm that 26% of the total mass–energy budget of the Universe is made up of dark matter. However, Bouchet says, the latest Planck analysis goes further, favouring the simplest models of inflation, in which the size of temperature fluctuations is, on average, the same on all distance scales. The polarization of the cosmic microwave background (in the 70 Gigahertz band) as measured by the Planck space telescope.

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