41: Cosmic Microwave Background (Scopes on a Balloon!)

When Chris found out in episode 36 that there was a telescope on an aeroplane, he was joking when he suggested they should try putting one on a balloon. Turns out, that's a real thing — and it leads to a deep-dive into one of the most fascinating discoveries in all of astronomy, the fingerprint of the Big Bang itself: the Cosmic Microwave Background.

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Syzygy is produced by Dr Chris Stewart and co-hosted by Dr Emily Brunsden from the Department of Physics at the University of York.

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Things we talk about in this episode:

Historical balloon telescopes

The Cosmic Microwave Background

Sixty Symbols video about the CMB

COBE mission

WMAP mission

The Planck mission

The CMB and Inflation