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Mapping Radiation Patterns

Imaging technologies enable detection of frequencies far beyond the visible range of the electromagnetic spectrum. These have radically extended human perception, allowing us to peer deep into our cosmic environment. This photograph of the cosmic microwave background, or CMB, visualizes our primeval origins, what is believed to be radiation shortly after the birth of the universe. It’s a cosmic baby picture, whose patterns represent slight energetic variations that eventually gave rise to quasars, galaxies, stars, planets, and us.

This image appears spherical because it’s a panorama of humanity’s cosmic horizon, taken from the Planck satellite. Because of the limited speed

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