We cannot see one of the universe’s primary constituents: dark matter. The reason is simple: it's dark. However, we can infer where it is located from observations of distant galaxies because of a key property of light, namely that it does not always travel in straight lines.
In the traditional model of astronomical observation, individual or small teams of astronomers study a select class of objects in a small region of sky. However, some of the most exciting cosmological and astrophysical results in recent years have required the study of millions of galaxies over thousands of square degrees of sky.
The universe began in a hot big bang 13.7 billion years ago. It is remarkably homogeneous on the large scale, and at the time period we're observe the cosmic microwave background, segments of the cosmos that are out of causal contact with each other are similar at the level of about ten parts per million. How did this remarkable synchronization come about?
KIPAC's visualization and data analysis facilities provide hardware and software solutions that help users at KIPAC and SLAC to analyze their large-scale scientific data sets.
Roughly 400,000 years after the Big Bang, the Universe—bathing in the afterglow of radiation that we see today as the cosmic microwave background—began to enter the cosmic “dark ages,” so named because the luminous stars and galaxies we see today had yet to form.