Cosmic Background Explorer.

Well, at least it doesn't sound as cheesy as the BOOMERaNg Project.

One of those experiments that overthrows several physicists' pet theories and cause several other (or even the same) physicists to come up with new ones.

The COBE satellite was launched in the early 90's to get a map of the Microwave Background Radiation that permeates the sky. It used all sorts of advanced gadgets, like a supercooled dewar full of liquid helium that contained the detectors. After all, it was trying to pick up radiation of temperature around 3 Kelvin. (cold. very cold.) and the detectors had to be colder than the radiation they were trying to pick up (otherwise, they'd just pick up their own heat, I assume).

In any case, after lots of postprocessing by lots of big computers, the large cosmological result was that for one, the background radiation was very nearly uniform everywhere, meaning the radiation was very likely the leftover glow of the Big Bang, and that there were very minor variations in the radiation, which were determined to be the seeds of galaxies and other larger structures in the universe today.

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