Universe 80 Million Years Older Than Thought

    George Efstathiou, a European Space Agency astrophysicist speaks to The Associated Press after the press conference at ESA headquarters, in Paris, Thursday, March 21, 2013 in front of the most detailed map ever created of the cosmic microwave background acquired by ESA's Planck space telescope. Efstathiou, who announced the Planck satellite mapping on Thursday, says the findings also offer new specificity of the universe's composition. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

    Francois Mori/AP

    Nothing like slapping 80 million years on the universe’s age to make you feel young. According to a new study released Thursday, scientists miscalculated the universe’s age by 80 million years—meaning it’s actually 13.81 billion years old. The officials from the European Space Agency’s Planck space probe who ran the study looked at the “afterglow” of the big bang—generally recognized as the most plausible theory of how the universe was born. The $900 million Planck telescope used in the study has been taking in data from the sky for 15 1/2 months. George Efstathiou, a director at the University of Cambridge who announced the news, said its importance is earth shattering. “We’ve uncovered a fundamental truth of the universe,” he said.

    Read it at The Washington Post