NASA Explorer mission launched in June 2001 to map the temperature fluctuations of the CMB radiation with much higher resolution, sensitivity, and accuracy than the earlier COBE mission (see http://map.gsfc.nasa.gov/). WMAP is named in honor of David Wilkinson of Princeton University, my freshman physics professor and (incidentally) a world-renown cosmologist and WMAP team member who died in September 2002.
Image source: http://en.wikivisual.com/index.php/WMAP.
WMAP’s main science goals are to: (1) improve the precision of the measurement of various cosmological parameters; (2) shed light on the process by which galaxies and other structures formed in the That which contains and subsumes all the laws of nature, and everything subject to those laws; the sum of all that exists physically, including matter, energy, physical laws, space, and time. Also, a cosmological model of the universe.; and (3) more accurately deduce the epoch at which the first objects formed in the universe. WMAP produced a map of the CMBR, the temperature of which ranges from 2.7251 to 2.7249 K. This map shows the state of the universe about 380,000 years after the Beginning point of time and space for the universe. A state of extremely high (classically, infinite) density and temperature from which the universe began expanding. Click on Term to Read More with the tiny variations reflecting the earliest lumps and bumps in the universe — seeds for galaxies and stars. WMAP data indicate that the universe is made of 4% ordinary matter, 23% of Form of matter that does not emit light, absorb light, or otherwise interact with electromagnetic radiation. Its only interactions are gravitational and dark matter particles can clump under the force of gravity (unlike "dark energy" which is evenly distributed throughout space). The existence of dark matter has been inferred from Click on Term to Read More, and 73% of Form of energy that is gravitationally repulsive, due to a negative effective pressure. Dark energy is spread almost uniformly throughout space and appears to contribute about 70% of the present energy density of the universe. Its existence was recently inferred from observations of distant Type Ia supernovae from combining CMBR Click on Term to Read More), and that the age of the universe is 13.7 ± 0.2 Ga. Lastly, the data also reveal that the first generation of stars ignited only 200 million years after the Big Bang, much earlier than many scientists had expected.
Image source: http://map.gsfc.nasa.gov/media/080997/index.html.