BOOMERANG Press Page (April 29, 2001)

Press release images follow. Click on the thumbnail image for bigger version.

Better maps of the microwave sky and an analysis of a larger section of those mapsare two factors that have led to an improved picture of the kind of universe in which we live. The top map shows the previously analyzed section (rectangle), and the new expanded region of analysis (ellipse). The bottom image shows a map used in the previous analysis, which was released last year.
The "New and Improved" Spectrum of Primordial Sound. The temperature variations in early universe seen in the BOOMERANG images are due to sound waves in the primordial plasma. The angular spectrum of these images shown here, reveals the characteristic size of the structures that dominate the image. A peak in this spectrum at scales of ~ 1 degree, as is seen here in the BOOMERANG data, indicates that the Universe is nearly spatially flat. This graph is a "double-binned" plot. The red points are independent of each other, as are the blue points. However, each red point is based on some of the same data as its blue neighbors, and vice versa. Therefore neighboring points are correlated.
Cosmological parameter estimation from BOOMERANG. The power spectrum of primordial sound waves can be used to estimate various parameters of the Universe. Some of these parameters include how fast the Universe is expanding, the age of the Universe, the total mass of the Universe, and how much of that mass is comprised of normal (baryonic) matter. The spectrum at left shows the data points (in black) that were used for the analysis, as well as several different models that have good fits to the data. Check out the scientific papers for more info.
Why do we expect multipole peaks in the power spectrum? This small animation explains why.
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