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WMAP Inflatable Universe Teaching Ball

WMAP Teaching Ball

This beach ball portrays an image of the oldest light in the universe, a direct remnant of the Big Bang. This light was emitted by hydrogen gas 380,000 years after the Big Bang, long before stars and galaxies formed. The patterns in this light trace minute variations in the early gas density (a part in 100,000) and provide valuable information about the age, shape, and composition of our universe. They imply a universe that is 13.7 billion years old consisting mostly of dark matter and dark energy: only 4.6% of the energy is in the form of atoms. This full-sky map was produced from data collected by the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) between 2001 and 2006.

Fact Sheet Insert

The WMAP Beach Ball can be used to teach about the universe, measurements, space science, and cosmology.

We have a limited supply of WMAP teaching balls. You can request one through our order form.

If words seem to be missing from the articles, please read this.

Imagine the Universe! is a service of the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC), Dr. Alan Smale (Director), within the Astrophysics Science Division (ASD) at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

The Imagine Team
Project Leader: Dr. Barbara Mattson
Curator: Meredith Gibb
Responsible NASA Official: Phil Newman
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This page last updated: Friday, 15-Aug-2014 14:04:31 EDT