|This map shows the oldest light in the universe, detected by the Planck mission. (ESA and the Planck Collaboration/HO)
The universe is 13.82 billion years old -- slightly older than previously thought, the European Space Agency said in Paris Thursday.
The Planck space telescope, launched in 2009, uncovered the age of the universe and details about how it originated and evolved.
Astronomers from around the world, including research teams from universities across Canada, helped develop the space scope and they've released details from the first 15 months of the mission.
"We now have a precise recipe for our universe: how much dark and normal matter it is made of; how fast it is expanding; how lumpy it is and how that lumpiness varies with scale; and how the remnant radiation from the Big Bang is scattered," University of British Columbia Prof. Douglas Scott said.
Researchers have found the universe is 100 million years older than previous estimates and is expanding significantly slower than the current standard used by astronomers.
The space telescope has also allowed cosmologists to confirm the universe's composition more accurately than ever before. The Canadian Space Agency said the scope helped determine normal matter -- stars and galaxies such as the Milky Way -- makes up 4.9% of the universe. Dark matter -- an invisible substance that can only be identified by its gravity -- accounts for 26.8%, and dark energy -- a mysterious force that behaves the opposite way to gravity, pushing and expanding the universe -- makes up 68.3% of the universe, slightly less than previously thought.
The full report will be unveiled next year when the telescope's mission is complete.