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collage of WMAP-related imagery (spacecraft, CMB
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v t e

The Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe
Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe
(WMAP), originally known as the Microwave Anisotropy Probe (MAP), was a spacecraft operating from 2001 to 2010 which measured temperature differences across the sky in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) – the radiant heat remaining from the Big Bang.[3][4] Headed by Professor Charles L. Bennett of Johns Hopkins University, the mission was developed in a joint partnership between the NASA
NASA
Goddard Space Flight Center
Goddard Space Flight Center
and Princeton University.[5] The WMAP
WMAP
spacecraft was launched on June 30, 2001 from Florida. The WMAP
WMAP
mission succeeded the COBE space mission and was the second medium-class (MIDEX) spacecraft in the NASA Explorers program. In 2003, MAP was renamed WMAP
WMAP
in honor of cosmologist David Todd Wilkinson
David Todd Wilkinson
(1935–2002),[5] who had been a member of the mission's science team. After 9 years of operations, WMAP
WMAP
was switched off in 2010, following the launch of the more advanced Planck spacecraft
Planck spacecraft
by ESA in 2009. WMAP's measurements played a key role in establishing the current Standard Model of Cosmology: the Lambda-CDM model. The WMAP
WMAP
data are very well fit by a universe that is dominated by dark energy in the form of a cosmological constant. Other cosmological data are also consistent, and together tightly constrain the Model. In the Lambda-CDM model
Lambda-CDM model
of the universe, the age of the universe is 7001137720000000000♠13.772±0.059 billion years. The WMAP
WMAP
mission's determination of the age of the universe is to better than 1% precision.[6] The current expansion rate of the universe is (see Hubble constant) 7001693199999999999♠69.32±0.80 km·s−1·Mpc−1. The content of the universe currently consists of 6998462800000000000♠4.628%±0.093% ordinary baryonic matter; 6999240200000000000♠24.02%+0.88% −0.87% cold dark matter (CDM) that neither emits nor absorbs light; and 6999713499999999999♠71.35%+0.95% −0.96% of dark energy in the form of a cosmological constant that accelerates the expansion of the universe.[7] Less than 1% of the current content of the universe is in neutrinos, but WMAP's measurements have found, for the first time in 2008, that the data prefer the existence of a cosmic neutrino background[8] with an effective number of neutrino species of 7000326000000000000♠3.26±0.35. The contents point to a Euclidean flat geometry, with curvature (

Ω

k

displaystyle Omega _ k

) of 3002730000000000000♠−0.0027+0.0039 −0.0038. The WMAP
WMAP
measurements also support the cosmic inflation paradigm in several ways, including the flatness measurement. The mission has won various awards: according to Science magazine, the WMAP
WMAP
was the Breakthrough of the Year for 2003.[9] This mission's results papers were first and second in the "Super Hot Papers in Science Since 2003" list.[10] Of the all-time most referenced papers in physics and astronomy in the INSPIRE-HEP database, only three have been published since 2000, and all three are WMAP
WMAP
publications. Bennett, Lyman A. Page, Jr., and David N. Spergel, the latter both of Princeton University, shared the 2010 Shaw Prize
Shaw Prize
in astronomy for their work on WMAP.[11] Bennett and the WMAP
WMAP
science team were awarded the 2012 Gruber Prize
Gruber Prize
in cosmology. As of October 2010, the WMAP
WMAP
spacecraft is derelict in a heliocentric graveyard orbit after 9 years of operations.[12] All WMAP
WMAP
data are released to the public and have been subject to careful scrutiny. The final official data release was the nine-year release in 2012.[13][14] Some aspects of the data are statistically unusual for the Standard Model of Cosmology. For example, the largest angular-scale measurement, the quadrupole moment, is somewhat smaller than the Model would predict, but this discrepancy is not highly significant.[15] A large cold spot and other features of the data are more statistically significant, and research continues into these.

Contents

1 Objectives 2 Development 3 Spacecraft 4 Launch, trajectory, and orbit 5 Foreground radiation subtraction 6 Measurements and discoveries

6.1 One-year data release 6.2 Three-year data release 6.3 Five-year data release 6.4 Seven-year data release 6.5 Nine-year data release

7 Main result 8 Follow-on missions and future measurements 9 See also 10 Further reading 11 References

11.1 Primary sources

12 External links

Objectives[edit]

The universe's timeline, from inflation to the WMAP.

The WMAP
WMAP
objective was to measure the temperature differences in the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) radiation. The anisotropies then were used to measure the universe's geometry, content, and evolution; and to test the Big Bang
Big Bang
model, and the cosmic inflation theory.[16] For that, the mission created a full-sky map of the CMB, with a 13 arcminute resolution via multi-frequency observation. The map required the fewest systematic errors, no correlated pixel noise, and accurate calibration, to ensure angular-scale accuracy greater than its resolution.[16] The map contains 3,145,728 pixels, and uses the HEALPix
HEALPix
scheme to pixelize the sphere.[17] The telescope also measured the CMB's E-mode polarization,[16] and foreground polarization.[8] Its service life was 27 months; 3 to reach the L2 position, 2 years of observation.[16]

A comparison of the sensitivity of WMAP
WMAP
with COBE and Penzias and Wilson's telescope. Simulated data.

Development[edit] The MAP mission was proposed to NASA
NASA
in 1995, selected for definition study in 1996, and approved for development in 1997.[18][19] The WMAP
WMAP
was preceded by two missions to observe the CMB; (i) the Soviet RELIKT-1
RELIKT-1
that reported the upper-limit measurements of CMB anisotropies, and (ii) the U.S. COBE satellite that first reported large-scale CMB
CMB
fluctuations. The WMAP
WMAP
was 45 times more sensitive, with 33 times the angular resolution of its COBE satellite predecessor.[20] The successor European Planck mission (operational 2009-2013) had a higher resolution and higher sensitivity than WMAP and observed in 9 frequency bands rather than WMAP's 5, allowing improved astrophysical foreground models. Spacecraft[edit]

WMAP
WMAP
spacecraft diagram

The telescope's primary reflecting mirrors are a pair of Gregorian 1.4m × 1.6m dishes (facing opposite directions), that focus the signal onto a pair of 0.9m × 1.0m secondary reflecting mirrors. They are shaped for optimal performance: a carbon fibre shell upon a Korex core, thinly-coated with aluminium and silicon oxide. The secondary reflectors transmit the signals to the corrugated feedhorns that sit on a focal plane array box beneath the primary reflectors.[16]

Illustration of WMAP's receivers

The receivers are polarization-sensitive differential radiometers measuring the difference between two telescope beams. The signal is amplified with HEMT
HEMT
low-noise amplifiers, built by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. There are 20 feeds, 10 in each direction, from which a radiometer collects a signal; the measure is the difference in the sky signal from opposite directions. The directional separation azimuth is 180 degrees; the total angle is 141 degrees.[16] To avoid collecting Milky Way
Milky Way
galaxy foreground signals, the WMAP
WMAP
uses five discrete radio frequency bands, from 23  GHz to 94 GHz.[16]

Properties of WMAP
WMAP
at different frequencies[16]

Property K-band Ka-band Q-band V-band W-band

Central wavelength (mm) 13 9.1 7.3 4.9 3.2

Central frequency (GHz) 23 33 41 61 94

Bandwidth (GHz) 5.5 7.0 8.3 14.0 20.5

Beam size (arcminutes) 52.8 39.6 30.6 21 13.2

Number of radiometers 2 2 4 4 8

System temperature (K) 29 39 59 92 145

Sensitivity (mK s

1

/

2

displaystyle ^ 1/2

) 0.8 0.8 1.0 1.2 1.6

The WMAP's base is a 5.0m-diameter solar panel array that keeps the instruments in shadow during CMB
CMB
observations, (by keeping the craft constantly angled at 22 degrees, relative to the Sun). Upon the array sit a bottom deck (supporting the warm components) and a top deck. The telescope's cold components: the focal-plane array and the mirrors, are separated from the warm components with a cylindrical, 33 cm-long thermal isolation shell atop the deck.[16] Passive thermal radiators cool the WMAP
WMAP
to ca. 90 degrees K; they are connected to the low-noise amplifiers. The telescope consumes 419 W of power. The available telescope heaters are emergency-survival heaters, and there is a transmitter heater, used to warm them when off. The WMAP
WMAP
spacecraft's temperature is monitored with platinum resistance thermometers.[16] The WMAP's calibration is effected with the CMB
CMB
dipole and measurements of Jupiter; the beam patterns are measured against Jupiter. The telescope's data are relayed daily via a 2 GHz transponder providing a 667kbit/s downlink to a 70m Deep Space Network telescope. The spacecraft has two transponders, one a redundant back-up; they are minimally active – ca. 40 minutes daily – to minimize radio frequency interference. The telescope's position is maintained, in its three axes, with three reaction wheels, gyroscopes, two star trackers and sun sensors, and is steered with eight hydrazine thrusters.[16] Launch, trajectory, and orbit[edit]

The WMAP's trajectory and orbit.

WMAP
WMAP
launches from Kennedy Space Center, June 30, 2001.

The WMAP
WMAP
spacecraft arrived at the Kennedy Space Center
Kennedy Space Center
on April 20, 2001. After being tested for two months, it was launched via Delta II 7425 rocket on June 30, 2001.[18][20] It began operating on its internal power five minutes before its launching, and so continued operating until the solar panel array deployed. The WMAP
WMAP
was activated and monitored while it cooled. On July 2, it began working, first with in-flight testing (from launching until August 17), then began constant, formal work.[20] Afterwards, it effected three Earth-Moon phase loops, measuring its sidelobes, then flew by the Moon on July 30, en route to the Sun-Earth L2 Lagrangian point, arriving there on October 1, 2001, becoming the first CMB
CMB
observation mission posted there.[18]

WMAP's orbit and sky scan strategy

The spacecraft's location at Lagrange 2, (1.5 million kilometers from Earth) minimizes the amount of contaminating solar, terrestrial, and lunar emissions registered, and thermally stabilizes it. To view the entire sky, without looking to the Sun, the WMAP
WMAP
traces a path around L2 in a Lissajous orbit
Lissajous orbit
ca. 1.0 degree to 10 degrees,[16] with a 6-month period.[18] The telescope rotates once every 2 minutes, 9 seconds" (0.464 rpm) and precesses at the rate of 1 revolution per hour.[16] WMAP
WMAP
measured the entire sky every six months, and completed its first, full-sky observation in April 2002.[19] Foreground radiation subtraction[edit] The WMAP
WMAP
observed in five frequencies, permitting the measurement and subtraction of foreground contamination (from the Milky Way
Milky Way
and extra-galactic sources) of the CMB. The main emission mechanisms are synchrotron radiation and free-free emission (dominating the lower frequencies), and astrophysical dust emissions (dominating the higher frequencies). The spectral properties of these emissions contribute different amounts to the five frequencies, thus permitting their identification and subtraction.[16] Foreground contamination is removed in several ways. First, subtract extant emission maps from the WMAP's measurements; second, use the components' known spectral values to identify them; third, simultaneously fit the position and spectra data of the foreground emission, using extra data sets. Foreground contamination was reduced by using only the full-sky map portions with the least foreground contamination, whilst masking the remaining map portions.[16]

The five-year models of foreground emission, at different frequencies. Red = Synchrotron; Green = free-free; Blue = thermal dust.

23 GHz 33 GHz 41 GHz 61 GHz 94 GHz

Measurements and discoveries[edit] One-year data release[edit]

1 year WMAP
WMAP
image of background cosmic radiation (2003).

On February 11, 2003, NASA
NASA
published the first-year's worth of WMAP data. The latest calculated age and composition of the early universe were presented. In addition, an image of the early universe, that "contains such stunning detail, that it may be one of the most important scientific results of recent years" was presented. The newly released data surpass previous CMB
CMB
measurements.[5] Based upon the Lambda-CDM model, the WMAP
WMAP
team produced cosmological parameters from the WMAP's first-year results. Three sets are given below; the first and second sets are WMAP
WMAP
data; the difference is the addition of spectral indices, predictions of some inflationary models. The third data set combines the WMAP
WMAP
constraints with those from other CMB
CMB
experiments ( ACBAR
ACBAR
and CBI), and constraints from the 2dF Galaxy Redshift
Redshift
Survey and Lyman alpha forest
Lyman alpha forest
measurements. There are degenerations among the parameters, the most significant is between

n

s

displaystyle n_ s

and

τ

displaystyle tau

; the errors given are at 68% confidence.[21]

Best-fit cosmological parameters from WMAP
WMAP
one-year results[21]

Parameter Symbol Best fit ( WMAP
WMAP
only) Best fit (WMAP, extra parameter) Best fit (all data)

Age of the universe
Age of the universe
(Ga)

t

0

displaystyle t_ 0

7001134000000000000♠13.4±0.3 – 7001137000000000000♠13.7±0.2

Hubble's constant
Hubble's constant
( ​km⁄Mpc·s )

H

0

displaystyle H_ 0

7001720000000000000♠72±5 7001700000000000000♠70±5 7001710000000000000♠71+4 −3

Baryonic content

Ω

b

h

2

displaystyle Omega _ b h^ 2

6998240000000000000♠0.024±0.001 6998230000000000000♠0.023±0.002 6998224000000000000♠0.0224±0.0009

Matter
Matter
content

Ω

m

h

2

displaystyle Omega _ m h^ 2

6999140000000000000♠0.14±0.02 6999140000000000000♠0.14±0.02 6999135000000000000♠0.135+0.008 −0.009

Optical depth to reionization

τ

displaystyle tau

6999166000000000000♠0.166+0.076 −0.071 6999200000000000000♠0.20±0.07 6999170000000000000♠0.17±0.06

Amplitude A 6999900000000000000♠0.9±0.1 6999920000000000000♠0.92±0.12 6999830000000000000♠0.83+0.09 −0.08

Scalar spectral index

n

s

displaystyle n_ s

6999990000000000000♠0.99±0.04 6999930000000000000♠0.93±0.07 6999930000000000000♠0.93±0.03

Running of spectral index

d

n

s

/

d k

displaystyle dn_ s /dk

— 3001530000000000000♠−0.047±0.04 3001690000000000000♠−0.031+0.016 −0.017

Fluctuation amplitude at 8h−1 Mpc

σ

8

displaystyle sigma _ 8

6999900000000000000♠0.9±0.1 — 6999840000000000000♠0.84±0.04

Total density of the universe

Ω

t o t

displaystyle Omega _ tot

– – 7000102000000000000♠1.02±0.02

Using the best-fit data and theoretical models, the WMAP
WMAP
team determined the times of important universal events, including the redshift of reionization, 7001170000000000000♠17±4; the redshift of decoupling, 7003108900000000000♠1089±1 (and the universe's age at decoupling, 7013119603304000000♠379+8 −7 kyr); and the redshift of matter/radiation equality, 7003323300000000000♠3233+194 −210. They determined the thickness of the surface of last scattering to be 7002195000000000000♠195±2 in redshift, or 7012372379680000000♠118+3 −2 kyr. They determined the current density of baryons, 6993250000000000000♠(2.5±0.1)×10−7 cm−1, and the ratio of baryons to photons, 6990610000000000000♠6.1+0.3 −0.2×10−10. The WMAP's detection of an early reionization excluded warm dark matter.[21] The team also examined Milky Way
Milky Way
emissions at the WMAP
WMAP
frequencies, producing a 208-point source catalogue. Three-year data release[edit]

3-year WMAP
WMAP
image of background cosmic radiation (2006).

The three-year WMAP
WMAP
data were released on March 17, 2006. The data included temperature and polarization measurements of the CMB, which provided further confirmation of the standard flat Lambda-CDM model and new evidence in support of inflation. The 3-year WMAP
WMAP
data alone shows that the universe must have dark matter. Results were computed both only using WMAP
WMAP
data, and also with a mix of parameter constraints from other instruments, including other CMB
CMB
experiments (ACBAR, CBI and BOOMERANG), SDSS, the 2dF Galaxy Redshift
Redshift
Survey, the Supernova Legacy Survey and constraints on the Hubble constant
Hubble constant
from the Hubble Space Telescope.[22]

Best-fit cosmological parameters from WMAP
WMAP
three-year results[22]

Parameter Symbol Best fit ( WMAP
WMAP
only)

Age of the universe
Age of the universe
(Ga)

t

0

displaystyle t_ 0

7001137300000000000♠13.73+0.16 −0.15

Hubble's constant
Hubble's constant
( ​km⁄Mpc·s )

H

0

displaystyle H_ 0

7001732000000000000♠73.2+3.1 −3.2

Baryonic content

Ω

b

h

2

displaystyle Omega _ b h^ 2

6998229000000000000♠0.0229±0.00073

Matter
Matter
content

Ω

m

h

2

displaystyle Omega _ m h^ 2

6999127700000000000♠0.1277+0.0080 −0.0079

Optical depth to reionization [a]

τ

displaystyle tau

6998890000000000000♠0.089±0.030

Scalar spectral index

n

s

displaystyle n_ s

6999958000000000000♠0.958±0.016

Fluctuation amplitude at 8h−1 Mpc

σ

8

displaystyle sigma _ 8

6999761000000000000♠0.761+0.049 −0.048

Tensor-to-scalar ratio [b] r < 0.65

[a] ^ Optical depth to reionization improved due to polarization measurements.[23] [b] ^ < 0.30 when combined with SDSS data. No indication of non-gaussianity.[22] Five-year data release[edit]

5-year WMAP
WMAP
image of background cosmic radiation (2008).

The five-year WMAP
WMAP
data were released on February 28, 2008. The data included new evidence for the cosmic neutrino background, evidence that it took over half billion years for the first stars to reionize the universe, and new constraints on cosmic inflation.[24]

The five-year total-intensity and polarization spectra from WMAP

Matter/energy content in the current universe (top) and at the time of photon decoupling in the recombination epoch 380,000 years after the Big Bang
Big Bang
(bottom)

The improvement in the results came from both having an extra 2 years of measurements (the data set runs between midnight on August 10, 2001 to midnight of August 9, 2006), as well as using improved data processing techniques and a better characterization of the instrument, most notably of the beam shapes. They also make use of the 33 GHz observations for estimating cosmological parameters; previously only the 41  GHz and 61  GHz channels had been used. Improved masks were used to remove foregrounds.[8] Improvements to the spectra were in the 3rd acoustic peak, and the polarization spectra.[8] The measurements put constraints on the content of the universe at the time that the CMB
CMB
was emitted; at the time 10% of the universe was made up of neutrinos, 12% of atoms, 15% of photons and 63% dark matter. The contribution of dark energy at the time was negligible.[24] It also constrained the content of the present-day universe; 4.6% atoms, 23% dark matter and 72% dark energy.[8] The WMAP
WMAP
five-year data was combined with measurements from Type Ia supernova (SNe) and Baryon
Baryon
acoustic oscillations (BAO).[8] The elliptical shape of the WMAP
WMAP
skymap is the result of a Mollweide projection.[25]

Best-fit cosmological parameters from WMAP
WMAP
five-year results[8]

Parameter Symbol Best fit ( WMAP
WMAP
only) Best fit ( WMAP
WMAP
+ SNe + BAO)

Age of the universe
Age of the universe
(Ga)

t

0

displaystyle t_ 0

7001136900000000000♠13.69±0.13 7001137200000000000♠13.72±0.12

Hubble's constant
Hubble's constant
( ​km⁄Mpc·s )

H

0

displaystyle H_ 0

7001719000000000000♠71.9+2.6 −2.7 7001705000000000000♠70.5±1.3

Baryonic content

Ω

b

h

2

displaystyle Omega _ b h^ 2

6998227300000000000♠0.02273±0.00062 6998226700000000000♠0.02267+0.00058 −0.00059

Cold dark matter
Cold dark matter
content

Ω

c

h

2

displaystyle Omega _ c h^ 2

6999109900000000000♠0.1099±0.0062 6999113100000000000♠0.1131±0.0034

Dark energy
Dark energy
content

Ω

Λ

displaystyle Omega _ Lambda

6999742000000000000♠0.742±0.030 6999726000000000000♠0.726±0.015

Optical depth to reionization

τ

displaystyle tau

6998870000000000000♠0.087±0.017 6998840000000000000♠0.084±0.016

Scalar spectral index

n

s

displaystyle n_ s

6999963000000000000♠0.963+0.014 −0.015 6999960000000000000♠0.960±0.013

Running of spectral index

d

n

s

/

d l n k

displaystyle dn_ s /dlnk

3001630000000000000♠−0.037±0.028 3001720000000000000♠−0.028±0.020

Fluctuation amplitude at 8h−1 Mpc

σ

8

displaystyle sigma _ 8

6999796000000000000♠0.796±0.036 6999812000000000000♠0.812±0.026

Total density of the universe

Ω

t o t

displaystyle Omega _ tot

7000109900000000000♠1.099+0.100 −0.085 7000100499999999999♠1.0050+0.0060 −0.0061

Tensor-to-scalar ratio r < 0.43 < 0.22

The data puts limits on the value of the tensor-to-scalar ratio, r < 0.22 (95% certainty), which determines the level at which gravitational waves affect the polarization of the CMB, and also puts limits on the amount of primordial non-gaussianity. Improved constraints were put on the redshift of reionization, which is 7001109000000000000♠10.9±1.4, the redshift of decoupling, 7003109088000000000♠1090.88±0.72 (as well as age of universe at decoupling, 7013118963000296000♠376.971+3.162 −3.167 kyr) and the redshift of matter/radiation equality, 7003325300000000000♠3253+89 −87.[8] The extragalactic source catalogue was expanded to include 390 sources, and variability was detected in the emission from Mars
Mars
and Saturn.[8]

The five-year maps at different frequencies from WMAP
WMAP
with foregrounds (the red band)

23 GHz 33 GHz 41 GHz 61 GHz 94 GHz

Seven-year data release[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to WMAP
WMAP
7-year results.

7-year WMAP
WMAP
image of background cosmic radiation (2010).

The seven-year WMAP
WMAP
data were released on January 26, 2010. As part of this release, claims for inconsistencies with the standard model were investigated.[26] Most were shown not to be statistically significant, and likely due to a posteriori selection (where one sees a weird deviation, but fails to consider properly how hard one has been looking; a deviation with 1:1000 likelihood will typically be found if one tries one thousand times). For the deviations that do remain, there are no alternative cosmological ideas (for instance, there seem to be correlations with the ecliptic pole). It seems most likely these are due to other effects, with the report mentioning uncertainties in the precise beam shape and other possible small remaining instrumental and analysis issues. The other confirmation of major significance is of the total amount of matter/energy in the universe in the form of dark energy – 72.8% (within 1.6%) as non 'particle' background, and dark matter – 22.7% (within 1.4%) of non baryonic (sub atomic) 'particle' energy. This leaves matter, or baryonic particles (atoms) at only 4.56% (within 0.16%).

Best-fit cosmological parameters from WMAP
WMAP
seven-year results[27]

Parameter Symbol Best fit ( WMAP
WMAP
only) Best fit ( WMAP
WMAP
+ BAO[28] + H0[29])

Age of the universe
Age of the universe
(Ga)

t

0

displaystyle t_ 0

7001137500000000000♠13.75±0.13 7001137500000000000♠13.75±0.11

Hubble's constant
Hubble's constant
( ​km⁄Mpc·s )

H

0

displaystyle H_ 0

7001710000000000000♠71.0±2.5 7001704000000000000♠70.4+1.3 −1.4

Baryon
Baryon
density

Ω

b

displaystyle Omega _ b

6998449000000000000♠0.0449±0.0028 6998456000000000000♠0.0456±0.0016

Physical baryon density

Ω

b

h

2

displaystyle Omega _ b h^ 2

6998225800000000000♠0.02258+0.00057 −0.00056 6998226000000000000♠0.02260±0.00053

Dark matter
Dark matter
density

Ω

c

displaystyle Omega _ c

6999222000000000000♠0.222±0.026 6999227000000000000♠0.227±0.014

Physical dark matter density

Ω

c

h

2

displaystyle Omega _ c h^ 2

6999110900000000000♠0.1109±0.0056 6999112300000000000♠0.1123±0.0035

Dark energy
Dark energy
density

Ω

Λ

displaystyle Omega _ Lambda

6999734000000000000♠0.734±0.029 6999728000000000000♠0.728+0.015 −0.016

Fluctuation amplitude at 8h−1 Mpc

σ

8

displaystyle sigma _ 8

6999801000000000000♠0.801±0.030 6999809000000000000♠0.809±0.024

Scalar spectral index

n

s

displaystyle n_ s

6999963000000000000♠0.963±0.014 6999963000000000000♠0.963±0.012

Reionization
Reionization
optical depth

τ

displaystyle tau

6998880000000000000♠0.088±0.015 6998870000000000000♠0.087±0.014

*Total density of the universe

Ω

t o t

displaystyle Omega _ tot

7000108000000000000♠1.080+0.093 −0.071 7000100230000000000♠1.0023+0.0056 −0.0054

*Tensor-to-scalar ratio, k0 = 0.002 Mpc−1 r < 0.36 (95% CL) < 0.24 (95% CL)

*Running of spectral index, k0 = 0.002 Mpc−1

d

n

s

/

d ln ⁡ k

displaystyle dn_ s /dln k

3001660000000000000♠−0.034±0.026 3001780000000000000♠−0.022±0.020

Note: * = Parameters for extended models (parameters place limits on deviations from the Lambda-CDM model)[27]

The Seven-year maps at different frequencies from WMAP
WMAP
with foregrounds (the red band)

23 GHz 33 GHz 41 GHz 61 GHz 94 GHz

Nine-year data release[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to WMAP
WMAP
results.

9-year WMAP
WMAP
image of background cosmic radiation (2012).

On December 20, 2012, the nine-year WMAP
WMAP
data and related images were released. 7001137720000000000♠13.772±0.059 billion-year-old temperature fluctuations and a temperature range of ± 200 microkelvins are shown in the image. In addition, the study found that 95% of the early universe is composed of dark matter and dark energy, the curvature of space is less than 0.4 percent of "flat" and the universe emerged from the cosmic Dark Ages "about 400 million years" after the Big Bang.[13][14][30]

Best-fit cosmological parameters from WMAP
WMAP
nine-year results[14]

Parameter Symbol Best fit ( WMAP
WMAP
only) Best fit ( WMAP
WMAP
+ e CMB
CMB
+ BAO + H0)

Age of the universe
Age of the universe
(Ga)

t

0

displaystyle t_ 0

7001137400000000000♠13.74±0.11 7001137720000000000♠13.772±0.059

Hubble's constant
Hubble's constant
( ​km⁄Mpc·s )

H

0

displaystyle H_ 0

7001700000000000000♠70.0±2.2 7001693199999999999♠69.32±0.80

Baryon
Baryon
density

Ω

b

displaystyle Omega _ b

6998463000000000000♠0.0463±0.0024 6998462800000000000♠0.04628±0.00093

Physical baryon density

Ω

b

h

2

displaystyle Omega _ b h^ 2

6998226400000000000♠0.02264±0.00050 6998222300000000000♠0.02223±0.00033

Cold dark matter
Cold dark matter
density

Ω

c

displaystyle Omega _ c

6999233000000000000♠0.233±0.023 6999240200000000000♠0.2402+0.0088 −0.0087

Physical cold dark matter density

Ω

c

h

2

displaystyle Omega _ c h^ 2

6999113800000000000♠0.1138±0.0045 6999115300000000000♠0.1153±0.0019

Dark energy
Dark energy
density

Ω

Λ

displaystyle Omega _ Lambda

6999721000000000000♠0.721±0.025 6999713500000000000♠0.7135+0.0095 −0.0096

Density fluctuations at 8h−1 Mpc

σ

8

displaystyle sigma _ 8

6999821000000000000♠0.821±0.023 6999820000000000000♠0.820+0.013 −0.014

Scalar spectral index

n

s

displaystyle n_ s

6999972000000000000♠0.972±0.013 6999960800000000000♠0.9608±0.0080

Reionization
Reionization
optical depth

τ

displaystyle tau

6998890000000000000♠0.089±0.014 6998810000000000000♠0.081±0.012

Curvature 1

displaystyle -

Ω

t o t

displaystyle Omega _ rm tot

3001630000000000000♠−0.037+0.044 −0.042 3002730000000000000♠−0.0027+0.0039 −0.0038

Tensor-to-scalar ratio (k0 = 0.002 Mpc−1) r < 0.38 (95% CL) < 0.13 (95% CL)

Running scalar spectral index

d

n

s

/

d ln ⁡ k

displaystyle dn_ s /dln k

3001810000000000000♠−0.019±0.025 3001770000000000000♠−0.023±0.011

Main result[edit]

This section needs to be updated. Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (December 2012)

Play media

Interviews with Charles Bennett and Lyman Page
Lyman Page
about WMAP.

The main result of the mission is contained in the various oval maps of the CMB
CMB
spectrum over the years. These oval images present the temperature distribution gained by the WMAP
WMAP
team from the observations by the telescope of the mission. Measured is the temperature obtained from a Planck's law
Planck's law
interpretation of the microwave background. The oval map covers the whole sky. The results describe the state of the universe only some hundred-thousand years after the Big Bang, which happened about 13.8 billion years ago. The microwave background is very homogeneous in temperature (the relative variations from the mean, which presently is still 2.7 kelvins, are only of the order of 6995500000000000000♠5×10−5). The temperature variations corresponding to the local directions are presented through different colors (the "red" directions are hotter, the "blue" directions cooler than the average). Follow-on missions and future measurements[edit] The original timeline for WMAP
WMAP
gave it two years of observations; these were completed by September 2003. Mission extensions were granted in 2002, 2004, 2006, and 2008 giving the spacecraft a total of 9 observing years, which ended August 2010[18] and in October 2010 the spacecraft was moved to a heliocentric "graveyard" orbit[12] outside L2, in which it orbits the Sun 14 times every 15 years.[citation needed]

Comparison of CMB
CMB
results from COBE, WMAP
WMAP
and Planck – March 21, 2013.

The Planck spacecraft, also measured the CMB
CMB
from 2009 to 2013 and aims to refine the measurements made by WMAP, both in total intensity and polarization. Various ground- and balloon-based instruments have also made CMB
CMB
contributions, and others are being constructed to do so. Many are aimed at searching for the B-mode polarization expected from the simplest models of inflation, including EBEX, Spider, BICEP2, Keck, QUIET, CLASS, SPTpol and others. On 21 March 2013, the European-led research team behind the Planck cosmology probe released the mission's all-sky map of the cosmic microwave background.[31][32] The map suggests the universe is slightly older than previously thought. According to the map, subtle fluctuations in temperature were imprinted on the deep sky when the cosmos was about 370,000 years old. The imprint reflects ripples that arose as early, in the existence of the universe, as the first nonillionth (10−30) of a second. Apparently, these ripples gave rise to the present vast cosmic web of galaxy clusters and dark matter. Based on the 2013 data, the universe contains 4.9% ordinary matter, 26.8% dark matter and 68.3% dark energy. On 5 February 2015, new data was released by the Planck mission, according to which the age of the universe is 13.799 ± 0.021 billion years old and the Hubble constant was measured to be 67.74 ± 0.46 (km/s)/Mpc.[33] See also[edit]

Cosmology portal Spaceflight portal

European Space Agency Planck (spacecraft) Illustris project List of cosmic microwave background experiments List of cosmological computation software

Further reading[edit]

Wilkinson Microwave Anisotrophy Probe Charles L. Bennett
Charles L. Bennett
Scholarpedia, 2(10):4731. doi:10.4249/scholarpedia.4731

References[edit]

^ Citrin, L. "WMAP: The Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe" (PDF). Retrieved October 28, 2016.  ^ " WMAP
WMAP
News: Events Timeline". NASA. December 27, 2010. Retrieved July 8, 2015.  ^ "Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe: Overview". Goddard Space Flight Center. August 4, 2009. Retrieved September 24, 2009. The WMAP (Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe) mission is designed to determine the geometry, content, and evolution of the universe via a 13 arcminute FWHM resolution full sky map of the temperature anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background radiation.  ^ "Tests of Big Bang: The CMB". Goddard Space Flight Center. July 2009. Retrieved September 24, 2009. Only with very sensitive instruments, such as COBE and WMAP, can cosmologists detect fluctuations in the cosmic microwave background temperature. By studying these fluctuations, cosmologists can learn about the origin of galaxies and large scale structures of galaxies and they can measure the basic parameters of the Big Bang
Big Bang
theory.  ^ a b c "New image of infant universe reveals era of first stars, age of cosmos, and more". NASA
NASA
/ WMAP
WMAP
team. February 11, 2003. Archived from the original on February 27, 2008. Retrieved April 27, 2008.  ^ Glenday, C., ed. (2010). Guinness World Records 2010: Thousands of new records in The Book of the Decade!. Bantam. p. 7. ISBN 978-0553593372.  ^ Beringer, J.; et al. (Particle Data Group) (2013). "Astrophysics and Cosmology". Review of Particle Physics.  ^ a b c d e f g h i Hinshaw et al. (2009) ^ Seife (2003) ^ ""Super Hot" Papers in Science". in-cites. October 2005. Retrieved April 26, 2008.  ^ "Announcement of the Shaw Laureates 2010". Archived from the original on June 4, 2010.  ^ a b O'Neill, I. (October 7, 2010). "Mission Complete! WMAP
WMAP
Fires Its Thrusters For The Last Time". Discovery News. Retrieved 2013-01-27.  ^ a b Gannon, M. (December 21, 2012). "New 'Baby Picture' of Universe Unveiled". Space.com. Retrieved December 21, 2012.  ^ a b c Bennett, C. L.; et al. (2013). "Nine-Year Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) Observations: Final Maps and Results". Astrophysical Journal Supplement. 208 (2): 20. arXiv:1212.5225 . Bibcode:2013ApJS..208...20B. doi:10.1088/0067-0049/208/2/20.  ^ O'Dwyer, I. J.; et al. (2004). "Bayesian Power Spectrum Analysis of the First-Year Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe
Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe
Data". Astrophysical Journal Letters. 617 (2): L99–L102. arXiv:astro-ph/0407027 . Bibcode:2004ApJ...617L..99O. doi:10.1086/427386.  ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Bennett et al. (2003a) ^ Bennett et al. (2003b) ^ a b c d e " WMAP
WMAP
News: Facts". NASA. April 22, 2008. Retrieved April 27, 2008.  ^ a b " WMAP
WMAP
News: Events". NASA. April 17, 2008. Retrieved April 27, 2008.  ^ a b c Limon et al. (2008) ^ a b c Spergel et al. (2003) ^ a b c Spergel et al. (2007) ^ Hinshaw et al. (2007) ^ a b " WMAP
WMAP
Press Release — WMAP
WMAP
reveals neutrinos, end of dark ages, first second of universe". NASA
NASA
/ WMAP
WMAP
team. March 7, 2008. Retrieved April 27, 2008.  ^ WMAP
WMAP
1-year Paper Figures, Bennett, et al. ^ Bennett, C. L.; et al. (2011). "Seven-Year Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) Observations: Are There Cosmic Microwave Background Anomalies?". Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series. 192 (2): 17. arXiv:1001.4758 . Bibcode:2011ApJS..192...17B. doi:10.1088/0067-0049/192/2/17.  ^ a b Table 8 on p. 39 of Jarosik, N.; et al. "Seven-Year Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) Observations: Sky Maps, Systematic Errors, and Basic Results" (PDF). WMAP
WMAP
Collaboration. nasa.gov. Retrieved December 4, 2010.  (from NASA's WMAP
WMAP
Documents page) ^ Percival, Will J.; et al. (February 2010). " Baryon
Baryon
Acoustic Oscillations in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey
Sloan Digital Sky Survey
Data Release 7 Galaxy Sample". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 401 (4): 2148–2168. arXiv:0907.1660 . Bibcode:2010MNRAS.401.2148P. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2009.15812.x.  ^ Riess, Adam G.; et al. "A Redetermination of the Hubble Constant with the Hubble Space Telescope
Hubble Space Telescope
from a Differential Distance Ladder" (PDF). hubblesite.org. Retrieved December 4, 2010.  ^ Hinshaw et al., 2013 ^ Clavin, Whitney; Harrington, J.D. (21 March 2013). "Planck Mission Brings Universe
Universe
Into Sharp Focus". NASA. Retrieved 21 March 2013.  ^ Staff (21 March 2013). "Mapping the Early Universe". New York Times. Retrieved 23 March 2013.  ^ Ade, P. A.; et al. (2016). "Planck 2015 results. XIII. Cosmological parameters". Astronomy & Astrophysics. 594: A13. arXiv:1502.01589 . Bibcode:2016A&A...594A..13P. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201525830. 

Primary sources[edit]

Bennett, C.; et al. (2003a). "The Microwave Anisotropy Probe (MAP) Mission". Astrophysical Journal. 583 (1): 1–23. arXiv:astro-ph/0301158 . Bibcode:2003ApJ...583....1B. doi:10.1086/345346.  Bennett, C.; et al. (2003b). "First-Year Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) Observations: Foreground Emission". Astrophysical Journal Supplement. 148 (1): 97–117. arXiv:astro-ph/0302208 . Bibcode:2003ApJS..148...97B. doi:10.1086/377252.  Hinshaw, G.; et al. (2007). "Three-Year Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP1) Observations: Temperature Analysis". Astrophysical Journal Supplement. 170 (2): 288–334. arXiv:astro-ph/0603451 . Bibcode:2007ApJS..170..288H. doi:10.1086/513698.  Hinshaw, G.; et al. (Feb 2009). WMAP
WMAP
Collaboration. "Five-Year Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe
Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe
Observations: Data Processing, Sky Maps, and Basic Results". The Astrophysical Journal Supplement. 180 (2): 225–245. arXiv:0803.0732 . Bibcode:2009ApJS..180..225H. doi:10.1088/0067-0049/180/2/225.  Limon, M.; et al. (March 20, 2008). "Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP): Five–Year Explanatory Supplement" (PDF).  Seife, Charles (2003). "Breakthrough of the Year: Illuminating the Dark Universe". Science. 302 (5653): 2038–2039. doi:10.1126/science.302.5653.2038. PMID 14684787.  Spergel, D. N.; et al. (2003). "First-Year Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) Observations: Determination of Cosmological Parameters". Astrophysical Journal Supplement. 148 (1): 175–194. arXiv:astro-ph/0302209 . Bibcode:2003ApJS..148..175S. doi:10.1086/377226.  Sergel, D. N.; et al. (2007). "Three-Year Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) Observations: Implications for Cosmology". Astrophysical Journal Supplement. 170 (2): 377–408. arXiv:astro-ph/0603449 . Bibcode:2007ApJS..170..377S. doi:10.1086/513700.  Komatsu; Dunkley; Nolta; Bennett; Gold; Hinshaw; Jarosik; Larson; et al. (2009). "Five-Year Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe
Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe
(WMAP) Observations: Cosmological Interpretation". The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series. 180 (2): 330–376. arXiv:0803.0547 . Bibcode:2009ApJS..180..330K. doi:10.1088/0067-0049/180/2/330. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to WMAP.

Sizing up the universe About WMAP
WMAP
and the Cosmic Microwave Background – Article at Space.com Big Bang
Big Bang
glow hints at funnel-shaped Universe, NewScientist, April 15, 2004 NASA
NASA
March 16, 2006 WMAP
WMAP
inflation related press release Seife, Charles (2003). "With Its Ingredients MAPped, Universe's Recipe Beckons". Science. 300 (5620): 730–731. doi:10.1126/science.300.5620.730. PMID 12730575. 

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