The Cosmic Microwave Background radiation, or CMB for short, is a faint glow of light that fills the universe, falling on Earth from every direction with nearly uniform intensity. When we make maps of the temperature of the CMB, we are mapping this surface of last scattering. The presence of a background radiation which has a temperature, spectrum and uniformity consistent with Big Bang cosmology and inflation, is extremely difficult to produce by any other means.
The team was doing research related to Big Bang nucleosynthesis, or the production of elements in the universe besides the lightest isotope type of hydrogen. Cosmologists studying the cosmic microwave background radiation can look through much of the universe back to when it was opaque: a view back toyears after the Big Bang.
Suddenly, this point began expanding, and the Universe as we know it began. Description: The CMB is essentially electromagnetic radiation that is left over from the earliest cosmological epoch which permeates the entire Universe.
In addition to this cosmic microwave background radiation, the early universe was filled with hot hydrogen gas with a density of about atoms per cubic centimeter.
In particular, the spectral radiance at different angles of observation in the sky contains small anisotropiesor irregularities, which vary with the size of the region examined.
The picture at left shows a false color depiction of the temperature brightness of the CMB over the full sky projected onto an oval, similar to a map of the Earth.
And in the course of looking farther out into space, and deeper back in time, cosmologists have discovered some truly amazing things.