The universe is lopsided, and to scientists it looks funny.

The Universe is lopsided. Just a bit, just a hint, but that has profound implications. Of all the results announced so far, this may be the most provocative. We expect the Universe to be pretty smooth on large scales. Those early fluctuations should be random, so when you look around at this ancient light, the pattern should be pretty random. And it is! The distribution of the fluctuations is quite random. It may look to your eye to have patterns, but our brains are miserable at seeing true randomness; we impose order on it. You have to use computers, math, and statistics to measure the distribution to test for true randomness, and the Universe passes the test.Kindof. The distribution is random, but the amplitudes of the fluctuations are not. Amplitude is how bright they are; like the height of a wave. It’s hard to see by eye, but in the big map made by Planck, the fluctuations are a wee bit brighter than they should be on one side, and a wee bit dimmer on the other. It’s an incredibly small effect, but appears to be real. It was seen in WMAP data and confirmed by Planck. A simple model of the Universe says that shouldn’t happen. The Universe is lopsided on a vast scale! What can this mean?

via Age of the universe: Planck results show universe is 13.82 billion years old..

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