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Cosmology’s new advances show our voyage of discovery is far from over

An incredible map of the universe and mind-bending revelations about a supermassive black hole are evidence that the advance of science is far from over – it has plenty of new shores yet to explore

Space


| Leader

29 July 2020

ESA/Hubble, NASA, I. Stephens

PHOTONS travel light. They have been zinging around the cosmos largely unimpeded since around 380,000 years after the big bang, when atoms formed and the universe became transparent to them. Astronomy is essentially the act of capturing as many photons as possible; cosmology that of translating this act into a coherent picture of the universe.

News this week that we have made our best ever map of the cosmos, depicting some 11 billion years of its history, is a milestone on both counts (see “Biggest ever map of the universe reveals 11 billion years of …