Checked content



English: The monopole spectrum of the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation using the original data set by the FIRAS team, available at The vertical axis "MJy/sr" corresponds to 106 jansky per steradian, where a jansky is 10-26 Watts per square-meter per Hertz. The horizontal axis ("1/cm") corresponds to the reciprocal of the microwave wavelength (in cm), which is proportional to the microwave frequency. The error bars are too small to be displayed by a computer screen, but were included to demonstrate the impressive accuracy of the data. Made with GNUPlot.
NASA's comment on the original picture: "Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) spectrum plotted in waves per centimeter vs. intensity. The solid curve shows the expected intensity from a single temperature blackbody spectrum, as predicted by the hot Big Bang theory. A blackbody is a hypothetical body that absorbs all electromagnetic radiation falling on it and reflects none whatsoever. The FIRAS data were taken at 34 positions equally spaced along this curve. The FIRAS data match the curve so exactly, with error uncertainties less than the width of the blackbody curve, that it is impossible to distinguish the data from the theoretical curve. These precise CMB measurements show that 99.97% of the radiant energy of the Universe was released within the first year after the Big Bang itself. All theories that attempt to explain the origin of large scale structure seen in the Universe today must now conform to the constraints imposed by these measurements. The results show that the radiation matches the predictions of the hot Big Bang theory to an extraordinary degree. See Mather et al. 1994, Astrophysical Journal, 420, 439, "Measurement of the Cosmic Microwave Background Spectrum by the COBE FIRAS Instrument,"Wright et al. 1994, Astrophysical Journal, 420, 450,"Interpretation of the COBE FIRAS CMBR Spectrum," and Fixsen et al. 1996, Astrophysical Journal, 473, 576,"The Cosmic Microwave Background Spectrum from the Full COBE FIRAS Data Sets" for details."
Deutsch: Das Monopolspektrum der kosmischen Hintergrundstrahlung. Es wurden die Originaldaten des FIRAS Teams zugrundegelegt, zu finden hier: Die Fehlerbalken sind zu klein, um von einem Bildschirm dargestellt werden zu können, wurden aber dennoch wegen der beeindruckenden Genauigkeit der Daten abgebildet. Erstellt mit GNUPlot.
Date 4 February 2011
Source Own work
Author Quantum Doughnut


Public domain I, the copyright holder of this work, release this work into the public domain. This applies worldwide.
In some countries this may not be legally possible; if so:
I grant anyone the right to use this work for any purpose, without any conditions, unless such conditions are required by law.

The following pages on Schools Wikipedia link to this image (list may be incomplete):


Learn more

Wikipedia for Schools is one of SOS Children's many educational projects. SOS Childrens Villages helps those who have nothing and no one, giving them back the famly they have lost and bringing them the very best opportunities for a happy, healthy future. Why not try to learn more about child sponsorship?