Cosmic Times

1965 Cosmic Times Articles

1965 Poster

This poster is the fourth issue of Cosmic Times pinned to the discovery of the cosmic microwave background (CMB). This new discovery settles the debate raised in the 1955 issue of the origin of the universe – it comes down firmly on the side of the Big Bang Theory.

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Content Overview

The date for this poster was chosen to coincide with the discovery of the cosmic microwave background (CMB). The CMB is the remnant radiation from very early in the Universe, the discovery of which clearly made the Big Bang the lead theory on the origin of the Universe. The realm of astronomy has grown, with the addition of observations of X-rays from outside the solar system, and, indeed, outside of the galaxy. Astronomers have also just gotten their first glimpse of the invisible dark matter.


  • 1965 Poster (printable at 8.5" x 11" or at its full size of 24" x 33"): pdf
  • 1965 Newsletters:
    • Early Edition (text for grades 7-8): pdf
    • Home Edition (text for grades 9-10): pdf
    • Late Edition (poster text, for grades 11-12): pdf
  • 1965 Questions for Understanding: doc, pdf
  • 1965 Glossary: doc, pdf
  • Full Cosmic Times Glossary: doc, pdf
  • Educator's guide for all Cosmic Times editions: doc, pdf


  • Age of Universe: 10-25 Billion Years; Size of Universe: 25 Billion Light Years
    Learn more about the age and size →
  • Murmur of a Bang
    • Summary:Two astronomers discover the remnant radiation from the Big Bang while trying to characterize the sources of noise in a radio antenna they wished to use for astronomical observations.
    • Thread: Expanding Universe
    • Additional background and information →
  • Big Hiss Missed by Others
    • Summary: The signature of the remnant radiation from the Big Bang could have been found by others, if they had known where to look, but Penzias and Wilson had just the right set of circumstances to make the discovery.
    • Additional background and information →
  • Supernovae Leave Behind Cosmic X-ray Generators
    • Summary:Astronomers continue to look at the Universe in a different light, this time in the X-ray. This article discusses the discovery of two sources that shine in X-ray, both thought to lie beyond our Galaxy.
    • Additional background and information →
  • Quasars: Express Trains to the Netherworld
    • Summary: At the edge of the Universe, astronomers are finding objects called quasars, originally for the term quasi-stellar objects. The nature of quasars is unknown in 1965, but it is clear that they lie at large distances, and so must be very old.
    • Additional background and information →
  • Galaxies Still Misbehaving
    • Summary: Recent observations have made it clear that there is more matter contained in galaxies than astronomers can easily account for. This leads to the idea of dark matter.
    • Additional background and information →

Lesson Plans

Download a .zip file containing all 1965 lessons with their associated handouts: doc, pdf

  • Reading Strategies
    • Overview: Students learn several reading strategies that can be used to understand the Cosmic Times materials, and other readings that may be challenging to them.
    • Grades: middle school and high school
    • Topics: Multidisciplinary
    • Downloads
  • Cosmic Microwave Background
    • Overview: Students explore the cosmic microwave background to understand why it permeates the Universe and why it peaks as microwave radiation.
    • Grades: high school
    • Topics: Physics, Astronomy
    • Download
  • Tornadoes and Galaxies
    • Overview: Students study how the Doppler effect helps scientists study both tornadoes and galaxies.
    • Grades: middle school and high school
    • Topics: Physics, Astronomy
    • Download
  • What's the Matter?
    • Overview: Students explore the density of substances as a model for understanding how astronomers have come to find the existence of dark matter.
    • Grades: middle school and high school
    • Topics: Physics, Astronomy
    • Download

Style Notes

The language in the 1965 newspaper mimics the style of writing that would have appeared in a real 1965 newspaper. The style is very close to modern-day newspapers, and should not be as difficult for your students as previous papers. However, the concepts may be a bit more difficult than in the previous Cosmic Times editions. As with other editions, we have provided three versions of the text in newletter form: an Early Edition aimed at 7-8 graders, a Home Edition aimed at 9-10 grades (with text from the online edition), and a Late Edition aimed at 11-12 grades (with the text from the poster). These, along with a glossary and questions for understanding are available above.

The poster also shows a layout that mimics the papers of the time, however, we have taken some creative license to make it more readable in a classroom setting.

A service of the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC), Dr. Andy Ptak (Director), within the Astrophysics Science Division (ASD) at NASA/GSFC