Scientists strapped the 6,000-pound telescope to a football-stadium-sized helium balloon that carried it into the upper reaches of the atmosphere. (Credit: Asad Aboobaker)

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY – Posted by Beth Kwon-Columbia on Thursday, January 17, 2013 14:54

Telescope built to capture big bang light

COLUMBIA U. (US) — A new space telescope will record relics from the universe’s moment of creation in an effort to learn more about the big bang.

A team recently launched the 6,000 pound device, called EBEX, from Antarctica via a football-stadium-sized helium balloon that carried it into the upper reaches of the atmosphere.

The telescope was built to capture snapshots of light particles that were emitted when the universe was only 380,000 years old.

Most cosmologists agree that the universe started out hot, dense and microscopically small. But where did it come from, and how did it expand into its present form? One prevailing theory suggests that, in a fraction of a second, this embryonic universe expanded faster than the speed of light, increasing in size at a greater rate than it has in the 15 billion years since.

Read more: Futurity – Telescope built to capture big bang light.

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