Probe Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) was launched June 30, 2001. It is intended to study the anisotropy i.e. the study of the CMB (Cosmic Microwave Background). WMAP was named in tribute to the American astronomer David Wilkinson, member of the team in charge of the satellite, a pioneer in the study of cosmic microwave background, who died Sept. 5, 2002. The purpose of the mission is to map the best possible accuracy with the temperature fluctuations of the cosmic microwave thermal radiation and its polarization to allow recovery of the material content of the Universe. The first results of the WMAP probe have been rightly hailed as a breakthrough in understanding the universe because WMAP produced the first complete map of the CMB from that of the COBE satellite in 1992 and it has a resolution significantly better.
The cosmos is older than 13.7 billion years. The first generation of stars began to light up 200 million years after the Big Bang. The image was published February 11, 2003. This picture shows a map of the observable universe known in the state it was in his establishment, at the age of 380 000 years as it became transparent.
This murmur radio captured in the 3K radiation or -270°C, shows the residual fluctuations of our universe and filigree, lumps of matter that gave rise to galaxies. Planck Space Observatory, launched in May 2009 takes over to explain the history of the Universe. Its objective is to observe the cosmic microwave background, the radiation emitted 380,000 years after the birth of the universe, which explains why the current temperature of the Universe is 2.7 K.
"By observing this signal, we can go back in time and see the universe as it was there billions of years ago," explains Dominique Yvon, astrophysicist at the CEA. The age of the universe has been clarified by observations of the WMAP probe.
Cosmological parameters indicate a probable value for the age of the universe about 13.7 billion years with an uncertainty of 0.2 billion years.
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Image: The analysis of the WMAP image of the entire sky suggests that the universe is older than 13.77 billion years (with an accuracy of 1%). It is composed of 73% dark energy, 23% of cold dark matter, and only 4% of atoms. It is currently expanding at a rate of 71 km/s / Mpc (with an accuracy of 5%), it rose by episodes of rapid expansion called inflation and grow forever. Credit: WMAP Science Team, NASA
The space observatory Planck ESA captures the cosmic radiation or cosmic microwave background (CMB).
The CMB is the "first light" of the universe, published shortly after the Big Bang, there are about 13.700 billion years, when the light began to travel freely for the first time.
The huge fireball that followed the Big Bang has cooled slowly to become a background of microwaves.
Planck observes and measures the temperature variations across the backdrop for microwaves, with a much higher sensitivity, better angular resolution and a wider range of frequencies, all previous observatories.
The Planck mission will then show us what the universe looks like through the first light emitted when it was only 380 000 years. On July 3, 2009, Planck reached the L2 Lagrange point and was placed on a course called Lissajous orbit.
Planck measure with great precision the cosmic microwave background radiation or CMB (trace of the Big Bang) to establish a mapping of inhomogeneities in temperature and polarization of this radiation.
For that it embeds a telescope of 1.5 m in diameter and 2 scientific instruments developed by the LFI and HFI told Italy to France.
The first images very promising, arrived June 14, 2009. This is the famous image of the Whirlpool Galaxy spiral, M51, that those responsible for the instrument Photoconductor Array Camera and Spectrometer have received, for initial testing.
The first edition of the catalog of compact sources (ERCSC, Early Release Compact source Catalogue) has been published and presented 11 January 2011, with thousands of sources detected by Planck.
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Image: The first results of Planck were unveiled at an international conference held in Paris in January 2011. Image noise in the infrared cosmic background.
Credit: Planck Collaboration