WMAP Worldwide Telescope Microwave Sky Images
This page provides access to a number of WMAP images that have been formatted to be compatible with the Microsoft Research Worldwide Telescope 3D imaging tool. Prior to using these files, you will need to download and install Worldwide Telescope as a separate application on your computer. These images are provided here as a courtesy to our users; they do not constitute an endorsement of any product or service.
This file and the underlying WWT-formatted image files have been provided through the courtesy of Microsoft Research.
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.
The WMAP images will be available under "Collections>My Collections" when the Explore menu is selected; simply double-click on the desired image. The following maps are available (please note that these thumbnails link link to wmap5year.wtml):
WMAP 5-Year CMB Map