The microwave anisotropy probe mission

C. L. Bennett, M. Bay, M. Halpern, G. Hinshaw, C. Jackson, N. Jarosik, A. Kogut, M. Limon, S. S. Meyer, L. Page, D. N. Spergel, G. S. Tucker, D. T. Wilkinson, E. Wollack, E. L. Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

351 Scopus citations


The purpose of the MAP mission is to determine the geometry, content, and evolution of the universe via a 13′ full width half-maximum (FWHM) resolution full-sky map of the temperature anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background radiation with uncorrelated pixel noise, minimal systematic errors, multifrequency observations, and accurate calibration. These attributes were key factors in the success of NASA's Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) mission, which made a 7° FWHM resolution full sky map, discovered temperature anisotropy, and characterized the fluctuations with two parameters, a power spectral index and a primordial amplitude. Following COBE, considerable progress has been made in higher resolution measurements of the temperature anisotropy. With 45 times the sensitivity and 33 times the angular resolution of the COBE mission, MAP will vastly extend our knowledge of cosmology. MAP will measure the physics of the photon-baryon fluid at recombination. From this, MAP measurements will constrain models of structure formation, the geometry of the universe, and inflation. In this paper we present a prelaunch overview of the design and characteristics of the MAP mission. This information will be necessary for a full understanding of the MAP data and results, and will also be of interest to scientists involved in the design of future cosmic microwave background experiments and/or space science missions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 I
StatePublished - Jan 20 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Cosmic microwave background
  • Cosmology: observations
  • Dark matter
  • Early universe
  • Space vehicles: instruments


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