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Study Finds Universe Is 100 Million Years Older Than Previously Thought

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the you-don't-look-a-day-over-13-billion dept.

Space 245

skade88 writes "Reuters is reporting that scientists now say the universe is 100 million years older than previously thought after they took a closer look at leftover radiation from the Big Bang. This puts the age of the Universe at 13.8 billion years. The new findings are the direct results from analyzing data provided by the European Space Agency's Planck spacecraft. The spacecraft is providing the most detailed look to date at the remnant microwave radiation that permeates the universe. 'It's as if we've gone from a standard television to a high-definition television. New and important details have become crystal clear,' Paul Hertz, NASA's director of astrophysics, told reporters on a conference call."

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Important details (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43242575)

I did not notice an increase in important details when upgrading to HDTV. Maybe I should get a better HDMI cable with more gold.

Imagine a beowulf cluster 100 million years older (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43242923)

I did not notice an increase of inanity when upgrading to the new age-of-the-universe. Maybe I should be cooling with liquid He.

Gee, thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43242583)

Now I feel 100 million years older than I did before.

Re:Gee, thanks (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43243393)

The good news is we now know the age of the universe. The bad news is that the warranty just expired.

Good ole' Paul Hertz (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43242591)

His wife says his speed is exactly one cycle per second.

Re:Good ole' Paul Hertz (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43243067)

Yea, but the amplitude will curl your toes!

Re:Good ole' Paul Hertz (1)

Sique (173459) | about a year and a half ago | (#43244185)

But it was Heinrich Hertz [wikipedia.org] , not Paul Hertz [wikipedia.org] (sorry, no english Wikipedia entry).

The difference between science and religion (-1, Offtopic)

Grayhand (2610049) | about a year and a half ago | (#43242611)

Science can accept new data and adjust theories to match with the new data. Religion requires that we never question the beliefs of a bunch of bronze age shepards and what they wrote is infalible so new data must be ignored.

Re:The difference between science and religion (0, Flamebait)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about a year and a half ago | (#43242721)

Yep, the bible is interpreted exactly the same as it was 2000 years ago.

Re:The difference between science and religion (3, Insightful)

fluffy99 (870997) | about a year and a half ago | (#43242899)

Yep, the bible is interpreted exactly the same as it was 2000 years ago.

Sure except for the fact that significant portions have been altered, re-translated, or just plain re-written. A perfect example would be the King James version that the purists consider a standard. Or maybe the fact that many of the books of the bible appear to have been written by the same person, well after the dates implied in the writings.

Re:The difference between science and religion (1)

osu-neko (2604) | about a year and a half ago | (#43243173)

Yep, the bible is interpreted exactly the same as it was 2000 years ago.

Sure except for the fact that significant portions have been altered, re-translated, or just plain re-written. A perfect example would be the King James version that the purists consider a standard. Or maybe the fact that many of the books of the bible appear to have been written by the same person, well after the dates implied in the writings.

Re-written?! Half of it hadn't been written for the first time 2000 years ago. For that matter, much of the last half deals with events that hadn't happened yet 2000 years ago. Unless I'm very confused, it's currently 2013AD, so 2000 years ago which would be 13AD, well before the governorship of Pontius Pilate (26-36AD).

Re:The difference between science and religion (1, Offtopic)

fluffy99 (870997) | about a year and a half ago | (#43243469)

Yes you are correct that scholars believe most of the new testament was written 45-90 AD, and that is part of the point that I think you missed. Writing first person accounts about events and people that occurred prior to your birth is generally not considered to be highly accurate unless you have a blind faith that God was guiding their hands. Which leads to the next question, was God guiding the hands of all those who've altered or written the bible since then? You can't call it the true word of god if it's been altered since it was written.

Personally, I consider the bible to be a fictionalized version of history of the time. Most religions or believes have something similar. I don't have reason to doubt that a man named Jesus was a notable figure in history. I just don't believe he was the son of god anymore than Indian or Chinese folklore ascribes supernatural powers to some of its ancient leaders.

Christianity is the youngest religion on the block and certainly not the largest. What makes their version of the unexplainable the correct one?

Re:The difference between science and religion (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43243519)

Christianity is the youngest religion on the block and certainly not the largest.

I'll give you that it's not the largest, but where did you get this notion that it's the youngest religion? Christianity began in the mid first-century AD (or CE, if you prefer). Meanwhile, the largest religon (Islam) didn't get started until Muhammed in 610. So your "youngest religion on the block" argument is off by over half a millenia. And that's just talking about the "mainstream" religions, to say nothing of some of the more modern belief systems.

Re:The difference between science and religion (4, Informative)

alendit (1454311) | about a year and a half ago | (#43244203)

Christianity is the youngest religion on the block and certainly not the largest.

I'll give you that it's not the largest...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_religious_groups [wikipedia.org] FFS, do you research, guys.

Re:The difference between science and religion (1, Interesting)

Evtim (1022085) | about a year and a half ago | (#43244265)

What is the "other" section consists off? Jedi, FSM, est..?

Then they are not religious in the traditional sense and suddenly "atheism in respect to any major religion" climbs to number two after the Christians. Moreover I have never seen an unbiased statistics about the only country I can speak off with authority – my own. According to the CIA fact book everyone in my country who belongs to the majority ethnic group (white Caucasian) is Orthodox Christian. Well, at least from my generation more than half are atheists and among everyone else not everyone is Christian. I think the greatest public secret of religion is that one, it loses ground unless extreme peer pressure and violence is used and two, many of those that belong to a particular church follow because of tradition, fashion or conformism, not so much from actual belief. And anyway, can you say that you have a true believer unless he/she is prepared to give his/her life and the lives of anyone (if deemed necessary) for your God? How many such people are out there? What was the saying? If God tells you to kill your kids and you don't, you are an atheist. If you do, you are a madman that should be locked away.

Re:The difference between science and religion (1)

aristotle-dude (626586) | about a year and a half ago | (#43243639)

Yep, the bible is interpreted exactly the same as it was 2000 years ago.

Sure except for the fact that significant portions have been altered, re-translated, or just plain re-written. A perfect example would be the King James version that the purists consider a standard. Or maybe the fact that many of the books of the bible appear to have been written by the same person, well after the dates implied in the writings.

Don't mind the person you are responding to. They are not being serious. They are speaking with hyperbole. They have only a passing knowledge of the contents of the bible. They are simply parroting what they have heard other people say about the bible.

Re-written?! Half of it hadn't been written for the first time 2000 years ago. For that matter, much of the last half deals with events that hadn't happened yet 2000 years ago. Unless I'm very confused, it's currently 2013AD, so 2000 years ago which would be 13AD, well before the governorship of Pontius Pilate (26-36AD).

Re:The difference between science and religion (3, Insightful)

UltraZelda64 (2309504) | about a year and a half ago | (#43243349)

Refined or rewritten bullshit is still bullshit.

Re:The difference between science and religion (2, Informative)

aristotle-dude (626586) | about a year and a half ago | (#43243635)

Yep, the bible is interpreted exactly the same as it was 2000 years ago.

Sure except for the fact that significant portions have been altered, re-translated, or just plain re-written. A perfect example would be the King James version that the purists consider a standard. Or maybe the fact that many of the books of the bible appear to have been written by the same person, well after the dates implied in the writings.

You are free to believe whatever you wish but the Old Testament that is found in the King James bible is based on the Greek translation of the hebrew scriptures which is known as the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Septuagint [wikipedia.org] and it predates AD or (CE if you prefer). You are free to study the differences between the Greek translation, the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanakh [wikipedia.org] and modern translations but please stop spreading your unfounded bullshit as it were fact.

The main gospels of the new testament have manuscripts dating back to around the first century and the epistles are generally considered to be letters to the various congregations written by the apostles and Paul to the various congregations in Asia minor during the first century.

Your objections are nebulous and derivative. I have heard the same bullshit claims about alteration, re-translation and rewrites over and over again. I am really bored and tired of it. Do you people have a script that you read from?

The modern translations are based on a number of sources including the Septuagint, the Tanakh and any of the oldest manuscript fragments available. Please stop with the bullshit already. You don't need to backup your atheism with lies and self-delusions. Are you afraid of pursuing the truth because of what you might find? Are you afraid of losing control? Your "self-control" is an illusion. You are a slave to your desires.

Re: The difference between science and religion (3, Insightful)

tolkienfan (892463) | about a year and a half ago | (#43242933)

That's not a very good argument.

The bible has to be interpreted differently than the plain meaning of the words because otherwise it's immoral, self-contradictory, bigoted and doesn't fit with modern understanding, morality or facts.

But let's take an example from science. The equations of motion are used today as they were when they were written. We've learned there are more accurate models, and sometimes need to apply those, but we still read his writings as written.
we've also invented a way to apply his methods and equations to more objects that have been invented since, which is a form of reinterpreting, but a distinctly different one.

Re: The difference between science and religion (2, Insightful)

letherial (1302031) | about a year and a half ago | (#43243089)

Trying to defend the bible on the back of newton is a little insulting.

While newtons calculation do well for the most part, we know its not 100% accurate and most scientist will freely admit this. It works well unless your in extreme cases.

The bible however, is just a bunch of text written by people who pretended to know shit they didnt know.

Your analogy is more akin to saying that even though newton was mostly right, we are going to choose another crackpot who never used any scientific methodology to create a new and improved version of the law of motions and just believe that the math is right despite the evidence.

The bible is a bunch of bullshit, its just a fact.

Re: The difference between science and religion (3, Informative)

tolkienfan (892463) | about a year and a half ago | (#43243149)

I think you misunderstood my post, because 1. I would never defend the bible and 2. I agree 100% with the rest of your post.

Re: The difference between science and religion (1)

isilrion (814117) | about a year and a half ago | (#43243185)

Trying to defend the bible on the back of newton is a little insulting.

I don't think he was trying to defend the bible:

The bible has to be interpreted differently than the plain meaning of the words because otherwise it's immoral, self-contradictory, bigoted and doesn't fit with modern understanding, morality or facts.

Re: The difference between science and religion (0)

cachimaster (127194) | about a year and a half ago | (#43243381)

>The bible is a bunch of bullshit, its just a fact.

You are clearly trolling but I will bite.
I think some of the bible advices are really good if you were born 2000 years ago.
"Eat only this stuff" "Do not kill" "Rest at least a day every 7" all those stuff just makes sense.
Then there is some fantastic stories and other wrong stuff like the age of the earth but hey, they were not scientist, we didn't have the Hubble back then.

Re: The difference between science and religion (0, Offtopic)

lemur3 (997863) | about a year and a half ago | (#43243503)

the clearest fact is that the person who said "the bible is a bunch of bullshit, its [sic] just a fact." clearly has not read the bible.. theres tons of useful stuff in there.

just one example of the insight offered in the bible which has nothing to do with faith can be seen in the book of Deuteronomy.

Designate a place outside the camp where you can go to relieve yourself. As part of your equipment have something to dig with, and when you relieve yourself, dig a hole and cover up your excrement. deut23:12-13 (niv)

Now, this might seem silly/simple/obvious at first.. but if you look at the problems that still exist today, it is anything but a bunch of bullshit.

Over 90 per cent of deaths from diarrhoeal diseases due to unsafe water and sanitation in the developing world occur in children below 5 years old.

About 4,500 children die each day from unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation facilities. Countless others suffer from poor health, diminished productivity and missed opportunities for education.

http://www.unicef.org/wash/index_31600.html [unicef.org]

Diarrhea, mainly caused by poor sanitary conditions, claims the lives of 1.8 million people annually, 1.6 million of them children under five years old, he said, citing World Bank figures.

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/editorials/archives/2007/10/04/2003381667 [taipeitimes.com]

So here we have nearly 2 million people dying a year due to no toilets and sanitation facilities... they openly defecate without burying it.. the flies carry waste around..

One of the best ways to stop the flies from landing on the human waste and contaminating everything? ..burying it.

If people were able to follow this simple bible scripture, one that has nothing to do with God, or Jesus.. we may be able to save hundreds of thousands of lives.

Helping hundreds of thousands of children avoid a horrible death by following a simple scripture, a bunch of bullshit? really?

Re: The difference between science and religion (4, Insightful)

bayankaran (446245) | about a year and a half ago | (#43243641)

This is nonsense. I live in a country with all the issues of sanitation you can imagine - India.

It is not practically possible to dig a hole and bury your waste in urban environments anywhere in the world. Even in rural environments there are severe limitations.

There are good lessons and moral / ethical fables in Bible and other religious texts, but it is hopelessly outdated.

Re: The difference between science and religion (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43243699)

Great, so there's all this useful information in the bible that everyone ignores and is useless anyway until NGOs explain to them that shitting 5ft outside of the village doesn't work anymore when past a certain population point?

I'm not saying 100% of the Bible is wrong, I'm saying 90% of people who quote the Bible are quoting the wrong parts and have no interest in honest, legitimate, pragmatic improvement of the situation of all man kind. They only want to relieve suffering on their terms, good is only good with a blessing, and the spirit of salvation is only what an old, white, European (still) tells you.

Re: The difference between science and religion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43244051)

I think you're kidding because of your grammar but I'm not sure..? But if you're serious, then by your logic, this statement is not bullshit since it's good advice:
"You should be nice to people, otherwise the giant cat monster from the netherlands will eat your face. So treat others as you would want to be treated."

So you're saying that since the advice is good, it's automatically not bullshit..?

Re: The difference between science and religion (4, Insightful)

TapeCutter (624760) | about a year and a half ago | (#43244191)

Trying to defend the bible on the back of [N]ewton is a little insulting.

To whom? Among the many hats he wore in public Newton was a respected theologian, he wrote more words on the subject of religion than any other subject, for example he wrote close to a million words on the numerology of 666. He also claimed "Jesus was sent to Earth to operate the levers of gravity". Religion was a major force in his life, He approached both religion and science as if the same subject, to him God was more than a mere assumption, he "knew" God existed because like modern day worshipers he had "conversations with God" (the copious amounts of Mercury he breathed most likely helped with that). History tends to ignore his bullshit and concentrate on what he wrote in what (from a modern POV) is arguably the most important book ever published. However, also from a modern POV, the bulk of his other writings are widely seen as batshit crazy.

Disclaimer(s): I don't think the OP was defending the bible. I've been an atheist for at least 50yrs. I don't believe in God but some of the smartest people who ever lived certainly did. The claims about Newton come from my memory of two biographies I read long ago (don't recall which ones)

PS: If anyone is looking for an interesting programming exercise. Write a program or heuristic to find a 6X6 magic square where the columns, rows, and diagonals all add up to 666, no number is repeated and all numbers must be prime. When you have discovered how difficult that is to do from scratch, know that Newton found one in his head!

Re: The difference between science and religion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43244285)

If you believe the Bible is "inspired by God" (2 Timothy 3:16) you will allow it to interpret itself (Gen. 40:8) and refrain from adding your personal interpretation (2 Peter 3:16).

Re:The difference between science and religion (5, Funny)

MessageApprovalMan (2871053) | about a year and a half ago | (#43242967)

Yep, the bible is interpreted exactly the same as it was 2000 years ago.

The Bible isn't interpreted. It was compiled.

Re:The difference between science and religion (2, Funny)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about a year and a half ago | (#43242979)

Yeah, but only into Koine Greek bytecode, so it's kinda on the fence...

Re:The difference between science and religion (2)

femtobyte (710429) | about a year and a half ago | (#43242997)

Well, with some virtual machines some JIT compiling, it's still chugging away as the back-end code on some more modern platforms...

Re:The difference between science and religion (1)

femtobyte (710429) | about a year and a half ago | (#43243059)

Is Slashdot's sarcasm meter broken again today? I'm pretty certain the parent poster was trying to (snarkily) make the point that interpretation of religious texts *has* changed a whole lot (in opposition to the grandparent post indicating religious rigidity back to a "bunch of bronze age shepards"), despite all the replies taking him overly literally.

Re:The difference between science and religion (2, Insightful)

allypally (2858133) | about a year and a half ago | (#43243917)

The Bible has been under continual re-interpretation.

Take any Bibical statement:
* don't eat shellfish
* keep slaves
* don't be gay

We can show fuzzy date ranges for which the statement was uncontroversally true through to it being considered symbolic only.

From that, we can scientifically predict the half-life of a Biblical truth. Thus, today:

* we do longer need to kill witches
* we don't really need to keep the sabbath holy
* gays are pretty much normal people to god now
* being wealthy no bar to heaven

And tomorrow? Just apply the Biblical truth half-life test to predict!

Re:The difference between science and religion (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year and a half ago | (#43243959)

Yep, the bible is interpreted exactly the same as it was 2000 years ago.

And all the thousands of variant interpretations are based on evidence.

Re:The difference between science and religion (2, Insightful)

narcc (412956) | about a year and a half ago | (#43242761)

So... 4017 is still the standard age in Christendom then, yes?

Oh, I see. You've decided that there is such a thing as the "science vs religion debate" outside your tiny little circle and you need to score points for your side at every opportunity. You don't care that your comment is completely off-topic, or that what you're saying is obviously nonsense. Beating up that straw man makes you feel important.

You may want to stop. You're not helping.

Re:The difference between science and religion (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43242883)

if the source material is clear on a topic (the age of the universe, its not clear, but things like how to cure leprosy, or whether or not taking virgin rape-slaves is correct, it happens to be quite clear) then its not a straw man. just because a book which says you should kill birds and sprinkle their blood to cure bacterial infections (well it doesnt mention bacteria, but you get the point). then its not a straw man. what it is, is arguing that there is a sophisticated way to interpret that as something that it doesnt say, doesnt imply, never would have been on the minds of the author and being told you are incorrect by inserting modern science into the leprosy question when you say it doesnt literally mean the things that it literally says. we all get to believe what we want, but when a book says (literally) A, you cant argue that it now means B, when the authors had no such information to use. (and the captcha was 'ironies")

Re:The difference between science and religion (5, Informative)

lemur3 (997863) | about a year and a half ago | (#43243427)

even PAT ROBERTSON thinks the whole 6000 years thing is a bunch of crap... youd think the militant anti-theism folks would give it a break.

Look, I know that people will probably try to lynch me when I say this, but Bishop Ussher wasn't inspired by the Lord when he said that it all took 6,000 years. It just didn't. You go back in time, you've got radiocarbon dating. You got all these things and you've got the carcasses of dinosaurs frozen in time out in the Dakotas.
They're out there. So, there was a time when these giant reptiles were on the Earth and it was before the time of the Bible. So, don't try and cover it up and make like everything was 6,000 years. That's not the Bible. If you fight science you're going to lose your children, and I believe in telling it the way it was.-Pat Robertson

http://www.examiner.com/article/evangelist-pat-robertson-no-longer-preaching-creationism [examiner.com]

http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/11/29/pat-robertson-challenges-creationism/ [cnn.com]

And Fox will use this as confirmation (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43242771)

Fox News: "Well scientists clearly don't know how old the universe is, only the other day they said it was 100,000 years older than they previously thought. Now I don't blame the scientists, I blame the Democrats, it's social science that has brought these dithering Thomas's into the field of science. Now the scientists are changing their story on this, how many other so called 'scientific' truths will be changed. What about Global Warming? The other fraud perpetrated on America? Now I don't blame the Democrats for that, I mean I don't blame the scientists for that, they were under a lot of pressure to earn their socialist paycheck.... blah blah blah....30 more minutes of mindless garbage"

Re:And Fox will use this as confirmation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43243099)

CNN: Clearly the universe seems older than it did before due to global warming. Most likely things would change less if we would simply adopt socialism - I mean statism.

Next up: Crazy conservatives frett that Obama wants to take away their guns. Conservatives are not grounded in reality."

In unrelated news: "Democratic Sen. Feinstein introduces gun ban."

Gun ban is cancelled (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43243303)

The gun ban was cancelled , the automatic weapons clause was removed because they couldn't get enough votes to push it through. That effectively kills the bill.

NRA bought a lot of Republican votes.

So will Scientology (2)

gargleblast (683147) | about a year and a half ago | (#43243361)

There really should be a Scientology Proven Right web page in the spirit of Conservapedia's [conservapedia.com] :

Xenu Scientific Foreknowledge: The universe is 4 quadrillion years old.
Liberal claptrap in response: The universe is 13.7 billion years old.
Result: The latest Plank spacecraft measurement is 13.8 billion years. Scientology Proven Right!

Re:The difference between science and religion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43242773)

This proves that when presented with *slightly* different data, scientists will happily adjust a measured parameter by less than one percent, without questioning at all any of their presuppositions (or Bayesian priors).

It's like telling a Christian that data proves that Jesus was crucified when he was 32 1/2 years old rather than 33. Not too troubling.

Re:The difference between science and religion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43242831)

80 million years is 1.4 standard deviations off of the old error (± 59 million years). The probability of finding an error this large from random measurements is about 15% [wikipedia.org] , so this isn't particularly revolutionary or even surprising.

Note: I'm not sure why this article says 100 million years when most articles on this say 80 million years.

Re:The difference between science and religion (1)

femtobyte (710429) | about a year and a half ago | (#43242925)

And, once you account for the fact that the new observation *also* has it own error bar of ~50My, the error bar on the difference (assuming no major correlated errors) is sqrt(59^2+50^2)=77My --- so the two results actually only disagree by ~1.0 standard deviations.

What if the religion is scientific? (1)

elucido (870205) | about a year and a half ago | (#43243781)

Does it still count as a religion if it relies on science to determine it's beliefs?

Blaspheming liars! (4, Funny)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year and a half ago | (#43242619)

It says right here in my textbook tha God created the universe 13.7 billion years ago.

YEC (1, Funny)

Alsee (515537) | about a year and a half ago | (#43242643)

The universe is 100,006,000 years old!

-

Re:YEC (1)

rossdee (243626) | about a year and a half ago | (#43242949)

100,006,016 years

Re:YEC (2)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | about a year and a half ago | (#43243061)

Actually 13,700,006,000 years old. Their counter had only 4 digits at the time (engraved on stone).

The universe is clearly a female entity... (5, Funny)

sconeu (64226) | about a year and a half ago | (#43242649)

Lying about its age like that.

Re:The universe is clearly a female entity... (2)

femtobyte (710429) | about a year and a half ago | (#43242981)

Apparently, the way to determine the universe's real age is to closely scrutinize its wrinkles and stretch marks.

Re:The universe is clearly a female entity... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43243447)

We already know there's an anomalous "cold spot" - has our universe been sleeping around?

Re:The universe is clearly a female entity... (5, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | about a year and a half ago | (#43243541)

"Does this Dark Matter make my galaxies look fat?"

Re:The universe is clearly a female entity... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43243891)

Actually dark matter and dark energy make them look thin and pretty, even though they are in reality fat slobs.

I believe Reuters is fudging (5, Informative)

TheCorporal (306071) | about a year and a half ago | (#43242657)

It should be 40 million years older with a margin of error of 50 million years. Ars article much more in depth if you want to know more.

http://arstechnica.com/science/2013/03/first-planck-results-the-universe-is-still-weird-and-interesting/ [arstechnica.com]

Re:I believe Reuters is fudging (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43242739)

Silly. Don't look at Ars. Look at the Planck papers.

http://www.sciops.esa.int/index.php?project=PLANCK&page=Planck_Published_Papers

Will be on arxiv, too.

This wasn't like going from regular tv to high def. This was like going from retina vision (wmap) to slightly more retina vision (planck). The age was reevaluated by a trivial 1%.

If anyone believes the age of the universe... (1)

pterry (100705) | about a year and a half ago | (#43242695)

...is known to 3 significant figures, I'll sell you a bridge.

Re:If anyone believes the age of the universe... (2)

femtobyte (710429) | about a year and a half ago | (#43242823)

If you currently have more reliable information than the Planck group on this point, I might be interested in buying your bridge. And either your secret scientific space station, or your time machine.

Re:If anyone believes the age of the universe... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43242827)

Do you understand how the calculation is done?

Or do you just project yourself onto the cosmologists? You'd cheat someone if you could with a fraudulent sale, so they must be that way too.

If you actually care, the statement is much more precise than "this is the age of the universe." The statement is, given the constraints of the 6-parameter Lambda-CDM model, which is the simplest cosmological model that fits the vast majority of the data, the age of the universe is known to this precision. If you allow extensions to Lambda-CDM (including "phantom energy" (w not -1), primordial helium diverging from BBN, running of the scalar spectral index, etc.), you introduce new uncertainties. For any given model, these uncertainties can be calculated in a Bayesian sense.

Or do you want to buy a bridge?

Re:If anyone believes the age of the universe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43242983)

We can put a lower bound on it more or less accurately though.

Re:If anyone believes the age of the universe... (4, Funny)

rossdee (243626) | about a year and a half ago | (#43242995)

" I'll sell you a bridge."

Does it come with working viewsceens, crew stations, a captains chair and a turbolift?
and a replicator?

Re:If anyone believes the age of the universe... (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year and a half ago | (#43243967)

...is known to 3 significant figures, I'll sell you a bridge.

Have you got something in green?

It's 80 million, widely quoted (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43242711)

But hey, it's slashdot. 100 million sounds better so that's what we run with.

Re:It's 80 million, widely quoted (0)

green1 (322787) | about a year and a half ago | (#43242921)

That's because of the extra 20 million it took for Slashdot to post this after the news broke in every other media outlet. I find the sad part being that Slashdot used to be the place to go to find this stuff. Now I found out about this in two local news publications first, went to slashdot for more detail only to find that slashdot still didn't know anything about it...

Re:It's 80 million, widely quoted (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43243017)

You read Slashdot for stuff like this? Jesus...

Re:It's 80 million, widely quoted (2)

green1 (322787) | about a year and a half ago | (#43243109)

Slashdot did at one point bill itself as a news site for nerds...

Re:It's 80 million, widely quoted (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year and a half ago | (#43243971)

Slashdot did at one point bill itself as a news site for nerds...

Now it's a talk site for news sites.

100million or less than 1% older (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43242715)

Everything needs its proper scale. 100million appears large. But not so much when it is the difference between 13.7 and 13.8 billion years. That is less than 1%.

Does the title "Universe is a tiny bit older than we thought" or "Less than 1% correction to age of Universe from new Measurements" capture as many headlines.

On the scale of the age of the universe 100million really is not much at all.

 

Re:100million or less than 1% older (5, Interesting)

green1 (322787) | about a year and a half ago | (#43242953)

That's actually the really good news from all of this. The news articles are all highlighting the difference in numbers, when the real news is that this basically confirms that we were right all along. sure the numbers are slightly different for age of the universe, rate of expansion, and amount of matter, but all of the numbers are close to what we already knew. This is confirmation that our models are right, and more detailed data to refine things further.
This is the way science works, and it's really good news!

Re:100million or less than 1% older (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | about a year and a half ago | (#43243553)

To put this in perspective it's like a year is 2.67 days longer than it was before.

Re:100million or less than 1% older (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year and a half ago | (#43243977)

To put this in perspective it's like a year is 2.67 days longer than it was before.

And your boss wants you to put in 2.67 days more work.

reply (-1)

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But I just want to know ... (1)

Skapare (16644) | about a year and a half ago | (#43242797)

... what was going on 1 attosecond BEFORE the big bang actually popped. I suspect there was leaking condom involved.

Re:But I just want to know ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43242911)

its called an m-brane. and yes, some people say thats roughly what happend. (wow i feel like a certain news organization for not being specific, but it was intentional...wait...)

Re:But I just want to know ... (3, Funny)

Phics (934282) | about a year and a half ago | (#43242955)

The Great Green Arkleseizure sneezed.

Re:But I just want to know ... (2)

Scarletdown (886459) | about a year and a half ago | (#43243853)

The Great Green Arkleseizure sneezed.

And of course, anyone who has dined at Milliway's know that there will not be a coming of the Great White Handkerchief. Heck, even the return of the Great Prophet Zarquon almost does not happen.

Re:But I just want to know ... (3, Interesting)

DigiShaman (671371) | about a year and a half ago | (#43243177)

No one knows. It's been stated that the farther you calculate back to the singularity, the math breaks down. It's quite possible that the universe is infinite in the true meaning of the word. That is to say, you can go all the way to the edge of the biginning of time, but never right up to it.

Let that shred your noodle for a moment.

Re:But I just want to know ... (5, Interesting)

femtobyte (710429) | about a year and a half ago | (#43243277)

More modern cosmological views tend to assume that there wasn't actually a singularity. There's a singularity in our current mathematical models of it --- but that's a problem with the models not having the right parts to describe the very early universe, not an indication that the universe was singular or even asymptotically approaching singular from positive time. The general "mental image" of the early universe as described by modern cosmologists like Stephen Hawking involves a transition from a region where the time dimension is no longer "special" in having a "forward-moving" direction --- in this part of the universe (which forms a smooth non-singular boundary edge to our flowing-time universe), the question "what came before?" no longer makes any sense, because there is no time direction for "before."

That should provide you with even more noodle shredding than an asymptotically infinite universe :)

The universe looks good for its age (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43242821)

You would too, if you had more surgeries than Joan Rivers

Dammit (2)

linear a (584575) | about a year and a half ago | (#43242881)

Dammit! EVERYBODY lies about their age!

Much older (1)

Roachie (2180772) | about a year and a half ago | (#43243041)

So the universe is a woman?

Next we we will find out that it is more massive than previously estimated.

Re:Much older (1)

femtobyte (710429) | about a year and a half ago | (#43243079)

Read the references --- it consists of a bigger fraction of visible and dark matter than previously estimated, with less (dark) energy.

ASSTRONOMERS ARE JUST WILD ASS GUESSING !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43243043)

In 100 years we will look back as these ass-wipe clowns and laugh !!

Re:ASSTRONOMERS ARE JUST WILD ASS GUESSING !! (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year and a half ago | (#43243979)

In 100 years we will look back as these ass-wipe clowns and laugh !!

Yeah, 'cause then it will be 100,000100 years older than we thought it was yesterday.

lies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43243139)

it only took G-d 7 days to create the universe.

Bullshit (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43243237)

The universe came into existence last Tuesday. You're almost as bad as the Last Mondayers, fucking heretics.

Umm (2)

the_Bionic_lemming (446569) | about a year and a half ago | (#43243317)

I'm going to hazard a guess that 50 years from now - we'll have better detection instruments set up that will change the age of the Universe dramatically.

Just look back 50 years and see the change.

Re:Umm (1)

femtobyte (710429) | about a year and a half ago | (#43243441)

Or, this topic of research is reaching maturity where understanding of the fine details will increase, but no major upheavals in the basic parameters.

From the Wikipedia page on "age of the universe":

The first reasonably accurate measurement of the rate of expansion of the universe, a numerical value now known as the Hubble constant, was made in 1958 by astronomer Allan Sandage.[23] His measured value for the Hubble constant yielded the first good estimate of the age of the universe, coming very close to the value range generally accepted today.

Between then and now, there was a fair amount of work put into searching for reasons why the universe wasn't about twice as old (coming from older models/observations), but the cutting-edge predictions pretty much settled down to where they are now (the speed of light or mass of the electron haven't changed radically in 50 years, either). Now, we have an experiment agreeing on the age of the universe to within ~0.4% of the previous best experiment.

Yes, there's always a nonzero possibility of big scientific upheavals --- but, past a certain point of maturity (once a field moves from pure wild-ass speculation to multiple repeatable experiments), scientific revolutions have historically always occurred out at the Nth decimal place.

Re:Umm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43244221)

This seems likely to me too. It'll keep getting older as our ability to detect fainter radiation gets better and expands the light cone that is actually visible to us. (In other words, our estimated "age of the universe" is relative to the information available to us.)

And keeping in mind the uncanny effects of gravity on time dilation, I'd also guess that sooner or later somebody (with the right credentials) should predict that the universe ages unevenly. Such that knowing the overall "age" is of limited use.

Oh That Mann Smell (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43243377)

Black Sabbath Mann

What is this that stands before me? [A tree ring ... or his thesis committee]
Figure in black which points at me [Obama ... or the Devil]
Turn around quick, and start to run [Texas highway ... no where to run no where to hide]
Find out I'm the chosen one [KKK]
Oh no

Dark matter (2)

ceview (2857765) | about a year and a half ago | (#43243539)

It's the dark matter that is still the key to all of this. Could this new data show some kind of structure to dark matter distribution in the early universe. Can Dark matter as WIMPs be generated as the result of high energy collisions more common at the beginning of the universe? From a press release it noted that "At the same time, some curious features are observed that don't quite fit with the current model. For example, the model assumes the sky is the same everywhere, but the light patterns are asymmetrical on two halves of the sky, and there is larger-than-expected cold spot extending over a patch of sky." http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-03/uoc--pnm032113.php [eurekalert.org] So there is hope yet for some interesting potential new physics and cosmology. M-Theory, Brane cosmology is perhaps going to get a bit more data to back it up.

Care factor zero. (-1)

aristotle-dude (626586) | about a year and a half ago | (#43243679)

I really don't give a crap how old some scientist says the universe is. What the actual figure is or how many digits are in it means absolutely nothing to the average person and the quality of their life.

There are far more pressing matters in life to be concerned with. This is simply yet another distraction in a string of distractions to keep everyone from noticing how messed up our society is.

If you think this is relevant to everyday life or important enough to argue about then you have missed the purpose of life entirely.

Da Big Bang... (1, Funny)

bayankaran (446245) | about a year and a half ago | (#43243683)

Big Bang is only a theory. As far as I know it is the theory with the most number of followers so it is assumed to be truer than others.

I have a feeling the Deterministic school of thought which governs science is failing to answer the big questions. I am not saying the alternates available - religion and other other super natural stuff - is better, but we need a third model.

And until a new model is found, lets collectively gasp at da big bang!!!

Re:Da Big Bang... (3, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year and a half ago | (#43243995)

Big Bang is only a theory. As far as I know it is the theory with the most number of followers so it is assumed to be truer than others

No, most evidence wins.

Re:Da Big Bang... (2)

FireFury03 (653718) | about a year and a half ago | (#43244101)

Big Bang is only a theory.

People who say "$foo is only a theory" probably need to go and look up what the word "theory" actually means...

Re:Da Big Bang... (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year and a half ago | (#43244195)

And until a new model is found, lets collectively gasp at da big bang!!!

I don't like this new theme song for the Leonard & Sheldon Show.

What calendar could they be using?? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43243857)

OK. Im pretty sure only on earth there are years and ideas of time as a deteriorating or evolving entity. On different planets time would surely be different, and without planetary existence time would neither exist. Even still we could just use earth years as a template for timing the creation of the universe, right? WRONG! The act of making common knowledge out of unprovable facts is a conditioned technique of the slave masters that run our world in to the ground. There's no way to know how old the universe is because it has no time. It revolves around nothing and is itself revolution of time, but the interesting part is that rueters is the largest multi media information conglomerate in the western world. They are also the host to FACTA, (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act Enacted March 18, 2010 as part of Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act to combat tax evasion by U.S. persons holding investments in offshore accounts). Thus they are used to supposing lack of proof as common law. STOP BELIEVING THE LIES
www.miscenesetters.com

Off by (1)

die standing (2626663) | about a year and a half ago | (#43244207)

just a tad.

No Clue at all (0)

Whiteox (919863) | about a year and a half ago | (#43244217)

Yeah sure. And this news comes from people who gave us Phlogiston and Ether!
Doesn't inspire a lot of confidence.

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