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The state of the Universe

Abstract

The past 20 years have seen dramatic advances in cosmology, mostly driven by observations from new telescopes and detectors. These instruments have allowed astronomers to map out the large-scale structure of the Universe and probe the very early stages of its evolution. We seem to have established the basic parameters describing the behaviour of our expanding Universe, thereby putting cosmology on a firm empirical footing. But the emerging ‘standard’ model leaves many details of galaxy formation still to be worked out, and new ideas are emerging that challenge the theoretical framework on which the structure of the Big Bang is based. There is still a great deal left to explore in cosmology.

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Figure 1: The Hubble diagram (magnitude–redshift diagram) for type Ia supernovae from the High-z team29.
Figure 2: The angular power spectrum of fluctuations in the CMB temperature across the sky as measured by WMAP (TT cross power spectrum), as well as the temperature-polarization cross-correlation (TE cross power spectrum).
Figure 3: Simulations of large-scale structure formation made by the Virgo consortium63.
Figure 4: The distribution of galaxies in the 2dF Galaxy Redshift Survey.

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Coles, P. The state of the Universe. Nature 433, 248–256 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1038/nature03282

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