AAS 202nd Meeting, May 2003
Session 20 Cool Astronomy for Everyone
Special Oral, Monday, May 26, 2003, 2:00-3:30pm, 103/104

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[20.01] Combining Cosmic Microwave Background observations and Galaxy Surveys

L. Verde (Princeton University)

We can learn about the origin, evolution, and composition of our Universe by comparing and combining different kinds of astronomical observations. In particular, observations of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) radiation, which is the fossil record of the Big-Bang, can be combined with 3 dimensional maps of galaxy distributions to investigate the nature of our Universe. The Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) is a NASA explorer mission that measures the temperature of the CMB with unprecedented accuracy. It was launched in 2001 to the L2 libration point.. WMAP's science goals are to answer the fundamental questions of the origin and fate of the Universe. The 2-degree Field Galaxy Redshift Survey (2dFGRS) aims to obtain high-quality spectra and redshifts for 250,000 galaxies over an area of approximately 2000 square degrees in the sky to address fundamental questions of galaxy formation, matter density and the distribution of dark matter. It uses the 2 degree multi-fiber spectrograph on the Anglo-Australian Telescope to obtain up to 400 spectra at once. In this talk, Licia Verde will discuss the results of a recent analysis of the WMAP and 2dFGRS data sets that show that our Universe is surprisingly simple, yet very intriguing.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35 #3
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.