Astronomy Today

Microwave Telescopes

Who pioneered microwave astronomy?

Early radio astronomers worked to create radio telescopes in such a way that they could be used to detect microwaves. It turned out, though, that some equipment created for the purpose of wireless communications made for the most effective early microwave telescope. In the 1960s, astronomers Arno Penzias (1933–) and Robert Wilson (1936–) used a sensitive microwave antenna built at Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, New Jersey, to study the microwave radiation from astronomical sources. They discovered the cosmic microwave background, the key evidence that confirmed the Big Bang theory of the origin of the universe.


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