It's Official: That Much-Hyped Big Bang Discovery Was Literally All Dust

By Sarah Zhang on at

There will be no Nobel prizes after all. Last March, scientists announced they had discovered our first direct evidence of the Big Bang, but that evidence has been slowly crumbling away. The results of a joint analysis released today make it official: It was all just cosmic dust.

What the original team of physicists using the BICEP2 telescope thought they saw was evidence of primordial gravitational waves leftover from the Big Bang. Alas, the distortions in light erroneously attributed to the gravitational waves were actually due to cosmic dust.

We wrote about the controversy over the gravitational waves discovery in greater detail last fall, when the doubts first began bubbling up. [ESA]

Top image: BICEP2 telescope in Antarctica. Credit: Steffen Richter, Harvard University