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Scientists think universe shaped like soccer ball

A new study suggests the cosmos could be dodecahedral, or 12 spherical pentagons tiled together on a sphere.
A new study suggests the cosmos could be dodecahedral, or 12 spherical pentagons tiled together on a sphere.

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LONDON (Reuters) -- The universe may be finite, spherical and patched together like a soccer ball, according to U.S. and French researchers.

Jeffrey Weeks, a MacArthur Fellow based in Canton, New York, and researchers from the University of Paris and Observatory of Paris studied astronomical data which suggests the universe is finite and made of curved pentagons joined together into a sphere.

In research reported in the Thursday edition of the science journal Nature, the scientists said data from NASA's Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe, which maps background radiation left over from the Big Bang, is not consistent with an infinite universe.

"Since antiquity, humans have wondered whether our universe is finite or infinite. Now, after more than two millennia of speculation, observational data might finally settle the ancient question," Weeks said.

In a commentary on the research, George Ellis of the University of Cape Town in South Africa, said if Weeks and his colleagues are correct we might indeed live is a small, closed universe.



Copyright 2003 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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