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A method for inference of the primordial power spectrum from the COBE DMR sky maps of the cosmic microwave background anisotropy is discussed. This approach involves a Fourier decomposition of the sky maps in the basis of orthonormal functions on the incompletely sampled sky, a detailed mathematical model of all non-systematic noise properties, and a likelihood analysis of the data based on an exact probabilistic model of the measurable quantities, valid in the context of Gaussian theories of structure formation. The results of the analysis of two-year COBE-DMR data and their implications are presented for the simple power law models of primordial inhomogeneity power spectrum, as well as for the more specific models of the flat, dark matter, or cosmological constant dominated universe, and some recently discussed renditions of the open universe cosmology.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration/Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA/GSFC) is responsible for the design, development, and operation of the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE ). Scientific guidance is provided by the COBE Science Working Group.
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