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Session 4 - Space Mission Status.
Display session, Monday, January 15
North Banquet Hall, Convention Center

[4.07] Data Sets from the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE)

D. Leisawitz (NASA/GSFC)

Infrared and microwave data from all three COBE instruments -- the Differential Microwave Radiometers (DMR), the Far Infrared Absolute Spectrophotometer (FIRAS), and the Diffuse Infrared Background Experiment (DIRBE) -- are available to Guest Investigators and can be used in studies of the early Universe, the Galaxy, and the solar system. The DIRBE was designed to enable discrimination of the foreground and cosmic emission components in order to detect or put interesting limits on the cosmic infrared background; the FIRAS measured the spectrum of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) and set strict limits on the deviation of the spectrum from the predicted blackbody form; and the DMR detected and enabled the characterization of large--scale CMB anisotropy.

Characteristics of the COBE instruments are summarized and the data products are described. Among the recently--released products are DMR 4--year sky maps and FIRAS spectral line, dust continuum, and CMB temperature sky maps. DIRBE zodiacal light--subtracted maps are scheduled to be produced in the near future. Most of the products are available by anonymous ftp or from the COBE Home Page at

The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center is responsible for the design, development, and operation of the COBE, and preparation of the data sets. Scientific guidance is provided by the COBE Science Working Group. The data are archived at and distributed from the National Space Science Data Center.

Program listing for Monday