WILKINSON MICROWAVE ANISOTROPY PROBE

"BABY PICTURE" OF THE UNIVERSE

 

WMAP orbits four times farther than the Moon and a million miles from Earth.

WMAP looks back to the first light in the Universe, the afterglow of the Big Bang (far left) that emerged 380,000 years after the Big Bang. This light took over 13 billion years to reach us. During that time, giant gas clouds (left side) condensed under the force of gravity to form the first stars (200 million years after the Big Bang). Then, galaxies and galaxy clusters formed into the structure we see today (right side). The temperature fluctuations in the WMAP image correspond to seeds that grew to become galaxies.