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|In the last years the Wilkinson Microwave Astronomy Probe (WMAP) has provided a beautiful picture of minute variations in the black body temperature over the universe. This map has done much to refine the understanding of cosmology. On the map red is hotter, blue colder. Temperatures differ by millionths of a degree. The Mollweide projection is centered on the galaxy with the galactic equitorial plane horizontal. The effect of galactic emission has been stripped out.||WMAP link
Details on the picture
General information on microwave background
NASA's Galileo mission has produced astonishing pictures of the Jovian moon Europa. The pictures from Europa are particularly intriguing since they show icy surfaces with tectonic-like ridges that may be floating on an ocean. Some suggest Europa could harbor life.
Life on Europa
The graph is a recent spectrograph from Hubble showing the presence of Oxygen and Carbon, some of the ingredients of life, in the atmosphere of the famous extrasolar planet HD209458 (click graph to enlarge). The observations were made with a special spectrograph on the Hubble Space telescope (STIS).
none of these
results depend directly on humans in space although people in space
important in refurbishing Hubble.
Future missions are needed to continue the
drive for new science in the next forty years.
The Hubble spectrograph
Hubble main page