WMAP Google Earth Microwave Sky Images
This page provides access to a number of WMAP images that have been formatted to be compatible with the Google Earth 3D imaging tool. Prior to using these files, you will need to download and install Google Earth as a separate application on your computer. You may configure your browser to launch Google Earth when a .kmz file is encountered; clicking on the images below will then automatically load them into the application. These images are provided as a courtesy to our users; they do not constitute an endorsement of any product or service.
The Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) radiation is the remnant heat from the Big Bang. This radiation pervades the universe and, if we could see in microwaves, it would appear as a nearly uniform glow across the entire sky. However, when we measure this radiation very carefully we can discern extremely faint variations in the brightness from point to point across the sky, called "anisotropy". These variations encode a great deal of information about the properties of our universe, such as its age and content. The "Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe" (WMAP) mission has measured these variations and found that the universe is 13.7 billion years old, and it consists of 4.6% atoms, 23% dark matter, and 72% dark energy.
Click on the images below to retrieve the Google Sky files. The file wmap_google.zip (80 MB) contains all these files for those that would like to have a local copy for improved browser performance; when using these images, select the File->Open command in the Google Earth application and simply navigate to these files.
Image Credit: NASA / LAMBDA Archive Team
WMAP 5-Year CMB Map