This polarized squiggle in the CMB, according to the BICEP2 team, was evidence of gravitational waves that were generated during the inflationary period and, by extension, provided tantalizing evidence for quantum gravity around the time of the Big Bang.
ANALYSIS: Big Bang, Inflation, Gravitational Waves: What It Means
But a scientific storm was quickly brewing. The BICEP2 results were announced before any research had been published to a scientific journal, and many cosmologists not associated with the work voiced their concerns.
The problem, argued critics, is that the BICEP2 telescope has to look through galactic dust within the Milky Way. This dust generates its own polarization signature that could be misconstrued as B-mode polarization from the CMB. Though the BICEP2 scientists contend that they took the necessary precautions and accounted for this dust, when their work was finally published last month, the team admitted that there was a possibility of interference.
The BICEP2 team had used incomplete Planck data to account for the dusty polarization and only when the complete Planck data set is made public later this year will cosmologists be able to sufficiently account for the interference.