Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) Results


COBE Satellite. Courtesy of NASA.The image shown at right captured the imagination of people all over the world as it showed what the universe looked like at the age of 389,000 years, when the universe cooled enough for the first neutral atoms to form, and for light to be free to travel without constantly colliding with charged electrons and protons.  
The colors in the picture illustrate minute temperature differences across the entire sky. The plane of the Milky Way Galaxy is horizontal across the middle of each picture. The red areas show slight increases in temperature on the order of one part in 100,000.