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Measurement of the cosmic microwave background spectrum by the COBE FIRAS instrument
Mather, J. C.; Cheng, E. S.; Cottingham, D. A.; Eplee, R. E., Jr.; Fixsen, D. J.; Hewagama, T.; Isaacman, R. B.; Jensen, K. A.; Meyer, S. S.; Noerdlinger, P. D.; Read, S. M.; Rosen, L. P.; Shafer, R. A.; Wright, E. L.; Bennett, C. L.; Boggess, N. W.; Hauser, M. G.; Kelsall, T.; Moseley, S. H., Jr.; Silverberg, R. F.; Smoot, G. F.; Weiss, R.; Wilkinson, D. T.
AA(NASA. Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, US), AB(NASA. Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, US), AC(NASA. Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, US), AD(NASA. Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, US), AE(NASA. Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, US), AF(NASA. Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, US), AG(NASA. Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, US), AH(NASA. Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, US), AI(MIT, Cambridge, MA, US), AJ(MIT, Cambridge, MA, US)
The Astrophysical Journal, Part 1 (ISSN 0004-637X), vol. 420, no. 2, p. 439-444 (ApJ Homepage)
Publication Date:
NASA/STI Keywords:
Background Radiation, Cosmic Rays, Cosmology, Far Infrared Radiation, Infrared Spectrophotometers, Microwave Spectra, Universe, Black Body Radiation, Brightness Distribution, Calibrating, Cosmic Background Explorer Satellite, Data Processing, Error Analysis, Red Shift
Bibliographic Code:


The cosmic microwave background radiation (CMBR) has a blackbody spectrum within 3.4 x 10-8 ergs/sq cm/s/sr cm over the frequency range from 2 to 20/cm (5-0.5 mm). These measurements, derived from the Far-Infrared Absolute Spectrophotomer (FIRAS) instrument on the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) satellite, imply stringent limits on energy release in the early universe after t approximately 1 year and redshift z approximately 3 x 106. The deviations are less than 0.30% of the peak brightness, with an rms value of 0.01%, and the dimensionless cosmological distortion parameters are limited to the absolute value of y is less than 2.5 x 10-5 and the absolute value of mu is less than 3.3 x 10-4 (95% confidence level). The temperature of the CMBR is 2.726 +/- 0.010 K (95% confidence level systematic).

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