Universe 80 Million Years Older Than Thought

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.