Astronomy Today

Microwave Telescopes

What was the BOOMERanG experiment, and what did it achieve?

The Balloon Observations of Millimetric Extragalactic Radiation and Geophysics (BOOMERanG) project was a microwave telescope instrument that was carried many miles into the air in a high-altitude balloon to make detailed measurements of the cosmic microwave background. BOOMERanG flew twice over Antarctica: once in 1998 and again in 2003. With it, astronomers gathered very important data about the anisotropic texture of the cosmic background radiation, including how its hot and cold spots are distributed throughout the universe. They then used the data to study the early history of the cosmos.


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