Recently the BICEP2 Research group announced far-reaching results which claimed to provide observational evidence for cosmic inflation in the split seconds after the Big Bang (see blog post April 15, 2014). The work has now been formally published in Physical Review Letters (see web reference below). However competing research groups have now raised issued with the methods and analysis performed by the BICEP2 group, bringing their conclusions into question. These criticisms are as a consequence of new information about polariation caused by galactic dust in the Milky Way from the European Space Agency's Plank observatory (see blog post April 4, 2013). However the BICEP2 group stand by their results and conclusions, but accept that that big questions remain unanswered. Clearly the conclusions about cosmic inflation need to be confirmed by other independent research groups - no big deal - just science in action!
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Graham Swinerd - I hope to use this page to highlight current major events in space and spacececraft.