In the mid-1960s, two radio astronomers, Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson, detected leftover, cooled down radiation from the early Universe by carefully scanning the sky with a device called the Holmdel Horn Antenna. Their discovery of what was later called the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB) is important evidence in support of the Big Bang theory and won them the Nobel prize.
The horn antenna, which is located in Holmdel, New Jersey, is now a recorded as a historic landmark by the United States National Park Service.
Image: The Holmdel Horn Antenna (credit: NASA)
This device was used to discover the cosmic microwave background radiation.
Arno Penzias talks about detecting ancient cosmic radiation.
Arno Penzias describes observations (made with Robert Wilson) using the Holmdel Horn Antenna. These observations would later be identified as the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB).
Scientists map the early Universe.
The astronomers Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson discovered the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation by chance in the mid-1960s while using the Holmdel Horn Antenna in New Jersey to map the sky. The CMB was later mapped with satellites, including the WMAP probe.
The Holmdel horn antenna is a large horn antenna that was used as a radio telescope at Bell Telephone Laboratories in Holmdel Township, New Jersey. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1988 because of its association with the research work of two radio astronomers, Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson. In 1965 while using this antenna, Penzias and Wilson discovered the microwave background radiation that permeates the universe. This was one of the most important discoveries in cosmology since Edwin Hubble demonstrated in the 1920s that the universe was expanding. It provided the evidence that confirmed George Gamow's and Abbe Georges Lemaitre's "Big Bang" theory of the creation of the universe. This helped change the science of cosmology, the study of the history of the universe, from a field for unlimited theoretical speculation into a discipline of direct observation. In 1978 Penzias and Wilson received the Nobel Prize for Physics for their discovery.
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