Saturday, July 2, 2011

Q: What are the most iconic images from astrophysics?

Orbital decay of a binary pulsar compared with the prediction of general relativity. This won the Nobel Prize in physics in 1993.

Power spectral density of the cosmic microwave background radiation, showing perfect correspondence with a black body. The measurement was taken from the first nine minutes of data from COBE, launched in 1989.

Maps of the cosmic microwave background radiation (with and without the dipole from our own motion), as measured by COBE in its first four years. The above two graphs won the Nobel Prize in physics in 2006.

Angular power spectrum of the magnitude of the cosmic microwave background radiation, here as measured by WMAP, showing the "third peak" and giving clues to what went on in the early universe.

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