Pictures of WMAP in the Night Sky

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On the left is a picture of WMAP (indicated by red arrow). The picture is a 10 second CCD exposure through a 16-inch diameter telescope on the roof of the Brown Physics Department Building, Providence, RI. This picture was taken on July 7, 2001 at 1:30 AM EDT. The approximate Right Ascension and Declination of WMAP were 18:25:43 hours and -27.7 degrees; this was during the first of three phasing loop approximately one day before the first Earth perigee. At the time of the photograph, MAP was about 162,000 km away from the Earth. On the right is a STScI Digitized Sky Survey picture of the same region of sky.  In a couple of weeks, after two more phasing loops, WMAP will swing by the Moon on the way to L2. At L2 MAP will be almost 10 times as far away and 100 times (5 magnitudes) fainter.

Movie (animated GIF) of WMAP moving across the night sky Pictures in the movie were taken (very approximately) every minute for a total of eleven minutes. Each exposure is 10 seconds long. North is up. (Pictures by Greg Tucker and Matt Truch.)

Norm Jarosik used the 36-inch telescope at the Fitz-Randolph Observatory in Princeton, NJ to also see WMAP. Another Movie (animated GIF) of WMAP moving across the night sky. (The movie is composed of fifty 30 second exposures spaced about 45 seconds apart. Exposures start at approximately 11:30 PM on 7 June 2001. North is to the right.)