The 50-million pixels image is of cosmic background radiation (CMB) and has already led to new theories of the age, composition and future of the universe, reports the Huffington Post

The image was made by the £515 million Planck satellite by observing microwave radiation across the sky over 15 months. Dust emissions and radio frequencies from the Milky Way galaxy were stripped out to leave just the afterglow of the Big Bang.

The result is an extremely precise picture of the universe just 380,000 years after the big bang.

The data suggests the universe is older than previously thought – 13.81 billion years, 80 million years more than our previous best guess. But some scientists have found the results troubling, as it includes “large scale anomalies.”

The data points to a preferred direction of energy fluctuations in the universe, and rather than a totally uniform universe on the large scale, predicted by simple models of expansion, the early universe appears to be asymmetrical.