COBE's infrared view of the Universe

These three pictures are maps of the full sky as seen in infrared light. The top two are composite images taken in wavelengths of 60, 100, and 240 micrometers. The 60-micrometer brightness is shown in blue, the 100-micrometer brightness in green, and the 240-micrometer brightness in red. The bottom image shows just the 240-micrometer brightness after foreground light from the solar system and Galaxy has been removed.

The images were compiled from data taken between December 1989 and September 1990 by the Diffuse Infrared Background Experiment (DIRBE) on board NASA's Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE). They illustrate the steps scientists used to find the cosmic infrared background, which is a radiative fossil containing cumulative starlight which now appears in the infrared due to the cosmic redshift and by absorption and re-emission by dust in the universe since the Big Bang.


Michael Hauser (STScI), the COBE/DIRBE Science Team, and NASA/ESA

About the Image

NASA press release
NASA caption
Release date:9 January 1998, 06:00
Size:2400 x 2999 px

About the Object

Name:Diffuse infrared background

Image Formats

Large JPEG
793.6 KB
Screensize JPEG
321.2 KB

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