An image of the Primordial Universe. Enormous structures in the early universe which are invisible to the unaided eye become apparent when observed using a telescope sensitive to mm-wave light. This image of approximately 1800 square degrees of the southern skywas taken using the BOOMERANG telescope over a 10 day period from December 1999 - January1999. For scale, the apparent size of the moon is indicated on the bottom right of the page. In this picture, we see the distant Universe as it makes its transition from a glowing 2700 deg C plasma to a perfectly transparent gas, approximately 14 billion years ago, a mere 300,000 years after the Big Bang. The color scale of the image has been enhanced to bring out the tiny 100 ppm temperature variations in the primordial plasma. BOOMERANG is the first telescope with the resolution and sensitivity required to image these variations, which have since evolved into giant clusters and superclusters of galaxies today.
Photo courtesy of BOOMERANG