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WMAP-Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe

WMAP Revolutionary Invention of 21st Century

The scientists have yet lot to discover about Dark Energy and Dark Matter. A new device is helping them to learn more about them. It is called Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP).

It is one the great astronomical breakthroughs of 21st century. It is a NASA satellite that is mapping the early universe. By analyzing those images scientists can find out what was the expansion rate, the composition of universe and above all the complete state of early universe. Nothing can give us a clearer image left by the big-bang, than WMAP.

This energy is called cosmic microwave background. WMAP measures temperature differences between cosmic microwave backgrounds. Blue areas are slightly colder than average temp and red area are hotter than average temperature. WMAP can measure temperature differences between 1/1000 of degrees. The sensitivity of WMAP helps the scientists to calculate the ratio of dark matter to Dark Energy.

WMAP - Window to Look into Past

WMAP - Window to Look into Past

Cosmic Microwave Backgrounds of our universe

To observe WMAP image we have to pass visible, near infrared, far infrared, sub millimeter region of spectrum and enter microwave region. We notice that nothing can be seen here unless we increase the contrast. Then WMAP image comes to life.

This is an image of the time of big bang. So basically it is the window through which we can look into the past.

Cosmic Microwave Backgrounds: Visible region

3. Cosmic Microwave Backgrounds: Far Infrared region

Cosmic Microwave Backgrounds: Near Infrared region

2. Cosmic Microwave Backgrounds: Near Infrared region

Cosmic Microwave Backgrounds: Far Infrared region

1. Cosmic Microwave Backgrounds: Visible region

Cosmic Microwave Backgrounds: Sub-millimeter region

6. Cosmic Microwave Backgrounds: Microwave region -> High contrast

Cosmic Microwave Backgrounds: Microwave region - Low contrast

5. Cosmic Microwave Backgrounds: Microwave region -> Low contrast

Cosmic Microwave Backgrounds: Microwave region  High contrast

4. Cosmic Microwave Backgrounds: Sub-millimeter region

WMAP - How Does It Work

Working method of WMAP

WMAP images our cosmos trying to reveal the past of our universe
(Image originally found at http://ignorams.egloos.com)

WMAP takes image of the universe. It takes images of Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn whose light takes about an hour to reach earth. Then it looks towards Andromeda, the next nearest galaxy from which light takes 2.3 millions year to reach earth. So we are looking 2.3 million years back into time. Thus it moves on to seek light from more distant area to discover the past and finally we reach back 13 billion years ago when the Big Bang occurred.

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