Cosmic Times

"First Light" Wins Nobel

The primary message of this article is that the scientists responsible for the COBE instruments that measured the spectrum and mapped the cosmic microwave background back in 1993 were awarded with the Nobel Prize for physics.

In the 1993 edition of Cosmic Times, we featured articles on the results of the COBE mission, which produced a spectrum and mapped the cosmic microwave background (CMB). By measuring the CMB so accurately, they proved that cosmology could be a precise science, allowing scientists to test predictions of different theories of the origin of our Universe.

This article in the 2006 Cosmic Times updates the COBE story with the announcement of the awarding of the Nobel Prize for Physics to the COBE mission scientists. This honored the achievements of COBE and its contributions to the field of cosmology. The fact that this appears in the same edition as the WMAP results shows the continuity of science, and how one accomplishment builds on earlier ones.

For more information on the discoveries of COBE, please see the 1993 edition of Cosmic Times.

Other resources

The following web page has more detailed information:

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