Measuring Genesis

Peering back at the first dawn, science now has evidence that the universe expanded to many trillions of times its original size in the blink of an eye. The idea, known as inflation, proposes that in the initial one trillionth of trillionth of second the stuff that would later form the cosmos suddenly changed.

It's admittedly mind-boggling. Inflation poses that the universe expanded far faster than the speed of light and grew from a subatomic size to a golf-ball size almost instantaneously. This concept, however, was a mere product of calculations done with pencil and paper around 1980. The idea stands on much firmer ground today.

NASA's Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP), which is currently about a million miles from Earth on the other side of the Sun, provided the data. It is based on three years of continuous observations of the cosmic microwave background, the afterglow light from the first moments of the universe.

Read the whole story from Science Blog for more.