Age of the universe

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Physical cosmology
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Universe · Big Bang
Age of the universe
Timeline of the Big Bang
Ultimate fate of the universe

In cosmology, the age of the universe is the amount of time since the Big Bang. The best measurement of the age of the Universe is 13.8 billion years (specifically, 13.798±0.037 billion years).[1][2] The most recent and most accurate measurements were made by the Planck spacecraft. These measurements were made using the cosmic microwave background radiation and the expansion of the Universe.

History[change | edit source]

In the 1800s, evidence from geology showed that the Earth was at least millions of years old. Later, it was thought that the universe was unchanging. However, in the 1920s, Georges Lemaître and Edwin Hubble determined that the universe was expanding (see Hubble's law). Although the estimates made using the initial data were low, radioactive dating on Earth could be used to give measurements of 11–20 billion years[3] to 13–15 billion years.[4][5] Eventually, scientists were able to make much better measurements using spacecraft.

References[change | edit source]

  1. Planck Collaboration (2013), Planck 2013 results. I. Overview of products and scientific results
  2. Bennett, C.L.; et al. (2013), Nine-Year Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) Observations: Final Maps and Results
  3. Britt RR (2003-01-03). "Age of Universe Revised, Again". space.com. http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/age_universe_030103.html. Retrieved 2007-01-08.
  4. Wright EL (2005). "Age of the Universe". UCLA. http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~wright/age.html. Retrieved 2007-01-08.
  5. Krauss LM, Chaboyer B (2003). "Age Estimates of Globular Clusters in the Milky Way: Constraints on Cosmology". Science (American Association for the Advancement of Science) 299 (5603): 65–69. doi:10.1126/science.1075631. PMID 12511641. http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/299/5603/65?ijkey=3D7y0Qonz=GO7ig.&keytype=3Dref&siteid=3Dsci. Retrieved 2007-01-08.