The universe is approximately 13.8 billion years old, according to new research recently published by an international team of astrophysicists.
Although this estimate of the age of the universe had been known previously, in recent years other scientific measurements have suggested that the universe may be hundreds of millions of years younger than this.
The researchers studied a picture of the universe’s oldest light to confirm its age of 13.8 billion years.
This light, the “afterglow” of the Big Bang, is known as the cosmic microwave background and marks a time 380,000 years after the birth of the universe when protons and electrons joined together to form the first atoms.
Getting the best picture of the infant universe helps scientists better understand the origin of the universe, how we got to where we are on earth, where we are going, how the universe can end and when that end can occur, according to a statement from Stony Brook University.
“We restore the universe̵
“Only by seeing this sharper baby photo or image of the universe can we better understand how our universe was born,” Sehgal said.
Using observations from the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) in Chile, the new findings match the measurements of Planck satellite data from the same ancient light.
The ACT team estimates the age of the universe by measuring its oldest light. Other scientific groups make measurements of galaxies to make the age calculations of the universe.
The new research adds a new twist to an ongoing debate in the astrophysics group about the age of the universe, says Simone Aiola, the first author of one of the new articles on the results, in a statement from Princeton University.
“Now we have an answer where Planck and ACT agree,” said Aiola, a researcher at the Flatiron Institute’s Center for Computational Astrophysics in New York City. “It speaks to the fact that these difficult measurements are reliable.”
The ACT research group is an international collaboration between researchers from 41 institutions in seven countries.