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Cosmology: The Study of the Universe

Cosmology is the scientific study of the large scale properties of the universe as a whole. The study of cosmology uses the scientific method to understand the origin, evolution and ultimate fate of the entire Universe. Like any field of science, cosmology involves the formation of theories or hypotheses about the universe which make specific predictions for phenomena that can be tested with observations. Depending on the outcome of the observations, the theories will need to be abandoned, revised or extended to accommodate the data. The prevailing theory about the origin and evolution of our Universe is the so-called "Big Bang" theory.

The Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) is NASA's primer mission to provide the a large, accurate microwave light dataset needed to test various theories about the beginnings and early evolution of the universe. With this data, and the observations of other ground breaking missions from around the world, we are able to present a coherent, and logical (though not complete) view of the origins, evolution, and fate of the universe. Along tthe way we examine some of the more interesting processes and object in our universe that help use understand the structure of the universe.

To explore the origins of our universe, enter our

Universe 101 primer!

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  • Page Updated: Friday, 12-10-2010