The data from the Planck probe's observations are in, and according to the European Space Agency they show a "hemispheric asymmetry in the cosmic microwave background (CMB)". Quote:
an asymmetry in the average temperatures on opposite hemispheres of the sky [...] with slightly higher average temperatures in the southern ecliptic hemisphere and slightly lower average temperatures in the northern ecliptic hemisphere. This runs counter to the prediction made by the standard model that the Universe should be broadly similar in any direction we look.
How unexpected is this variance from the Standard Model and can it be quantified?
How certain is it that the data are accurate? For the recent discovery of the Higgs boson at the LHC, a five sigma result was considered sufficient to make the announcement. What is the sigma for the reported hemispherical asymmetry?
Some anomalies in the background radiation have been reported which are aligned with the plane of the solar system, which contradicts the Copernican principle by suggesting that the solar system's alignment is special. Land and Magueijo dubbed this alignment the "axis of evil" owing to the implications for current models of the cosmos, although several later studies have shown systematic errors in the collection of that data and the way it is processed. Various studies of the CMB anisotropy data either confirm the Copernican principle, model the alignments in a non-homogeneous universe still consistent with the principle, or attempt to explain them as local phenomena. Some of these alternate explanations were discussed by Copi, et. al., who looked at data from the Planck satellite to resolve whether the preferred direction and alignments were spurious.
(Wikipedia's main Planck probe article makes no mention of the hemispherical asymmetry.)
When can we expect this controversy to be resolved, and are more outcomes possible than (1) the Planck probe data are found to be in error or (2) the Standard Model must undergo major revision?