Tuesday, February 11, 2003
MAP of the Universe

The first results from the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe are out. The probe, launched in 2001 has an orbit around the Earth that keeps in the the shadow of the moon. Today's New York Times (obligatory "registration required" here) has this story about the new data.

Dig the turn of phrase at the end of this paragraph:
By comparing their data with other astronomical observations, the astronomers said, they had arrived at a definitive measurement of the basic parameters that characterize the universe, including its age, geometry, composition and weight. The result, they said, is a seamless and consistent history of the universe, from its first few seconds, when it was a sizzling soup of particles and energy, to the modern day and a sky ribboned with chains of pearly galaxies inhabited by at least one race of puzzled and ambitious bipeds
The results do not refute the Big Bang theory in any way.

And, hey, it's not every day that I get to say "anisotropy," even though it is a way cool word.