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Solar System Exploration
WMAP (click to enlarge)


The Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe, also known as WMAP, is designed to make fundamental measurements of cosmology -- the study of the properties of our universe as a whole. The spacecraft reveals conditions as they existed in the early universe by measuring the properties of the cosmic microwave background radiation over the full sky.

WMAP's data helped produce a new standard model of the properties of our universe. It pinpointed the age of our universe at 13.73 billion years old to within 1 percent and captured an image of the afterglow of the Big Bang.

Credit: NASA

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Last Updated: 20 Jan 2011