Latest Cosmic Background Explorer Stories

2010-10-06 12:40:00

After nine years of scanning the sky, the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) space mission has concluded its observations of the cosmic microwave background, the oldest light in the universe. The spacecraft has not only given scientists their best look at this remnant glow, but also established the scientific model that describes the history and structure of the universe. "WMAP has opened a window into the earliest universe that we could scarcely imagine a generation ago," said Gary...

2009-11-18 09:55:00

NASA's Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) satellite rocketed into Earth orbit on Nov. 18, 1989, and quickly revolutionized our understanding of the early cosmos. Developed and built at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., COBE precisely measured and mapped the oldest light in the universe -- the cosmic microwave background. COBE showed that the radiation's spectrum agrees exactly with predictions based on the Big Bang theory. And COBE's map of slight hot and cold spots within this...

2009-08-28 14:25:00

In 1959, only two years after the Soviet Union launched Sputnik and ignited the space race, the University of California, Berkeley, created a laboratory devoted to space science that has grown to be one of the most active academic space research labs in the country.Now celebrating its 50th anniversary, UC Berkeley's Space Sciences Laboratory (SSL) has provided instruments for 75 satellites, two dozen rockets, nearly 200 balloon flights and numerous ground-based experiments. Eight of the...

2009-04-08 15:45:00

Scientists from the University of Toronto and the University of British Columbia have helped unveil the birthplaces of ancient stars using a two-ton telescope carried by a balloon the size of a 33-storey building. After two years spent analyzing data from the Balloon-borne Large-Aperture Sub-millimeter Telescope (BLAST) project, an international group of astronomers and astrophysicists from Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. reveals today in the journal Nature that half of the starlight of the...

2008-06-08 15:25:00

In recent studies, physicists may have not only found a new model for the creation of our universe, they may also have found an entirely new view on time altogether. The journal Physical Review Letters shares details about a recent study of the cosmic microwave background "“ light emitted when the universe was only 400,000 years old. It is relic radiation that fills the universe and acts as evidence for the Big Bang theory. In 1992 the Cobe satellite discovered tiny fluctuations on the...

Word of the Day
  • In the phrase to out-herod Herod, to be more violent than Herod (as represented in the old mystery plays); hence, to exceed in any excess of evil.
Herod refers to 'Herod the Great,' a Roman client king and 'a madman who murdered his own family and a great many rabbis.' According to the OED, the term is 'chiefly with allusion to Shakespeare's use' in Hamlet.