Quest for Universe's oldest light
Posted: Friday, June 29, 2001
(BBC) The Microwave Anisotropy Probe (Map) will soon journey into deep space on a voyage to explore some of the mysteries of the Cosmos. With it astronomers hope to determine the content, shape, history, and the ultimate fate of the Universe.
The American space agency Nasa's $145m (£103m) spaceprobe will construct a full-sky picture of the oldest light in the Universe. It is designed to capture the afterglow of the Big Bang, which comes to us from all directions in space and from a time when the Universe was a very different place.
Map will look for faint patterns imprinted within this afterglow that carry the answers to many mysteries such as: What happened during the first instant after the Big Bang? How did the galaxies form? Will the Universe expand forever?
According to Professor Carlos Frenk of Durham University, UK: "This is the mission we have all been waiting for. It's better than anything we have had before. It will answer many questions and no doubt raise many more mysteries." More
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