A reconstruction of the contaminated foreground map BICEP used (top) and the corrected map.

Raphael Flauger/Institute for Advanced Study

A reconstruction of the contaminated foreground map BICEP used (top) and the corrected map.

Doubts Shroud Big Bang Discovery

Staff Writer

Two months ago, a team of cosmologists reported that it had spotted the first direct evidence that the newborn universe underwent a mind-boggling exponential growth spurt known as inflation. But a new analysis suggests the signal, a subtle pattern in the afterglow of the big bang, or cosmic microwave background, could be an artifact produced by dust within our own galaxy.

For the full story, see this week's issue of Science.

Posted in Physics, Space Big Bang Controversy