COBE satellite under construction.

COBE satellite under construction.

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Credit: NASA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: The Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) satellite under construction at Goddard Space Flight Center. The satellite will study the structure & spectrum of the microwave background (the cold, faint echo of the radiation emitted during the Big Bang). The radiation was emitted when the universe was a hot fireball and initially had a spectrum character- istic of this temperature. As the universe expanded, the radiation cooled and now has a temperature of only 2. 7 degrees Kelvin. Any fine structure found in the microwave background would indicate inhomogeneities in the primaeval fireball. These would have profoundly influenced the large-scale structure of the present universe.

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Keywords: astronomical, astronomy, astrophysics satellite, cobe, construction, cosmic background explorer, detector, goddard space flight center, microwave background, satellite

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