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A preliminary measurement of the cosmic microwave background spectrum by the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) satellite
Mather, J. C.; Cheng, E. S.; Eplee, R. E., Jr.; Isaacman, R. B.; Meyer, S. S.; Shafer, R. A.; Weiss, R.; Wright, E. L.; Bennett, C. L.; Boggess, N. W.; Dwek, E.; Gulkis, S.; Hauser, M. G.; Janssen, M.; Kelsall, T.; Lubin, P. M.; Moseley, S. H., Jr.; Murdock, T. L.; Silverberg, R. F.; Smoot, G. F.; Wilkinson, D. T.
AA(NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD), AB(NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD), AC(NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD), AD(NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD), AE(NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD), AF(NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD), AG(NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD), AH(NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD), AI(NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD), AJ(NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD)
Astrophysical Journal, Part 2 - Letters (ISSN 0004-637X), vol. 354, May 10, 1990, p. L37-L40. (ApJL Homepage)
Publication Date:
Space Radiation
NASA/STI Keywords:
Astronomical Spectroscopy, Cosmic Background Explorer Satellite, Relic Radiation, Black Body Radiation, Cosmic Dust, Infrared Spectrophotometers, Red Shift
Bibliographic Code:


A preliminary spectrum is presented of the background radiation between 1 and 20/cm from regions near the north Galactic pole, as observed by the FIRAS instrument on the COBE satellite. The spectral resolution is 1/cm. The spectrum is well fitted by a blackbody with a temperature of 2.735 + or - 0.06 K, and the deviation from a blackbody is less than 1 percent of the peak intensity over the range 1-20/cm. These new data show no evidence for the submillimeter excess previously reported by Matsumoto et al. (1988) in the cosmic microwave background. Further analysis and additional data are expected to improve the sensitivity to deviations from a blackbody spectrum by an order of magnitude.

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