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Name: Sandeep
Status: student
Grade: 9-12
Location: PA
Country: USA
Date: N/A 


Question:
What is the importance of microwaves in radio astronomy?



Replies:
Sandeep

Microwaves are a form of Electromagnetic waves.

Please click on this URL for an article describing Microwaves:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microwave

Please click on this URL to see pictures of the Electromagnetic spectrum:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_spectrum

Also check out this URL for Microwaves:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microwave

Please note:

Visible light only ranges from 790 - 400 TerraHertz If we limited our astronomical research to visible light We would be denying us information available in the microwave spectrum From 300 MegaHertz to 300 GigaHz.

Please note the chart in:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giga-

MegaHertz = 1 x 1,000,000 ( 6 zeroes)
GigaHertz = 1 x 1,000,000,000 ( 9 zeroes)
TerraHertz = 1 x 1,000,000,000,000 (12 zeroes)

So visible light provides 390,000,000,000,000 cycles per second (Hertz) of information

But microwaves add 300,000,000,000 - 300,000,000 Hertz, or 299,700,000,000 Hertz of additional information to astronomical data.

Sincere regards,
Mike Stewart


Dear Sandeep,

Microwaves are part of the earliest known features of the Universe. In 1965 astronomers discovered that the primordial echo of the Big Bang, as seen today in simple antennas, is microwave radiation. The Wilkinson Anisotropy Probe in the late 1990s pegged this background, mapped it, and concluded that it came from our universe born 13.7 billion years ago.

Sincerely

David H,. Levy



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