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The Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation-A Unique Window on the Early UniverseThe cosmic microwave background radiation is the remnant heat from the Big Bang. It provides us with a unique probe of conditions in the early universe, long before any organized structures had yet formed. The anisotropy in the radiation's brightness yields important clues about primordial structure and additionally provides a wealth of information about the physics of the early universe. Within the framework of inflationary dark matter models, observations of the anisotropy on sub-degree angular scales reveals the signatures of acoustic oscillations of the photon-baryon fluid at a redshift of ~ 11 00. Data from the first seven years of operation of the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) satellite provide detailed full-sky maps of the cosmic microwave background temperature and polarization anisotropy. Together, the data provide a wealth of cosmological information, including the age of the universe, the epoch when the first stars formed, and the overall composition of baryonic matter, dark matter, and dark energy. The results also provide constraints on the period of inflationary expansion in the very first moments of time. WMAP, part of NASA's Explorers program, was launched on June 30, 2001. The WMAP satellite was produced in a partnership between the Goddard Space Flight Center and Princeton University. The WMAP team also includes researchers at the Johns Hopkins University; the Canadian Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics; University of Texas; Oxford University; University of Chicago; Brown University; University of British Columbia; and University of California, Los Angeles.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Hinshaw, Gary (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
March 13, 2010
Subject Category
Meeting Information
22nd Rencontres de Blois Particle Physics and Cosmology(Blois)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.