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The Spring 2011 issue of The Earth Scientist is focused on modernizing seismology education. Thanks to IRIS, you can download this issue for free as a pdf. Print copies are available in our online store.
This computer drawing shows MAP leaving the Sun, Earth and Moon behind as it heads towards the L2 Lagrange point 1.5 million kilometers beyond Earth.
Click on image for full size
Courtesy of the MAP Science Team, NASA

Capturing the Afterglow of the Big Bang (Updated!)
News story originally written on July 10, 2001

Good news! The Microwave Anisotropy Probe (MAP) was launched successfully last Saturday! Liftoff happened on time on June 30, 2001. The MAP teams says they couldn't have asked for a better start to the mission!

After the Big Bang, the universe was really hot! The leftover heat from that time is still around today. It is called Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMB).

CMB radiation is everywhere! It is in front of your computer screen, under your chair, past Pluto and all over the universe!

MAP will make a map of CMB radiation. This will help scientists answer questions like these: What happened right after the Big Bang? How were galaxies formed? What is the shape of the universe?

The MAP probe will make its CMB radiation map from the L2 Lagrange point, 1.5 million kilometers from Earth. It will take MAP 3 months to get that far out in space. Then MAP will take about 18 months to finish a map of the CMB radiation across the universe.

Last modified July 13, 2001 by Jennifer Bergman.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF