April 4, 2003
WMAP observers the first light to break free in the infant Universe, the afterglow of the Big Bang. This light emerged 380,000 years after the Big Bang. Patterns imprinted on this light reflect the conditions set in motion a tiny fraction of a second after the Big Bang. In turn, the patterns are the seeds of the development of the structures of galaxies we now see billions of years after the Big Bang.
Topics: Big Bang, Galaxy, Physical cosmology, Copernican principle, Universe, Cosmic microwave background radiation