Regarding this article, wherein Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) findings are surpassed by BOOMERANG (Balloon Observations of Millimeter Extragalactic Radiation and Geophysics) data, can you help me understand what happened to the Microwave Anistropy Probe (MAP)? It was expected to surpass COBE in many ways. MAP was to launch in November 2000, establish a sun-sheltered position at LeGrange point 2, and begin sending data in February or March 2001. This has never been reported in the popular press. Harvey Lehman
Millersville, Pa.
The Microwave Anistropy Probe (MAP) will indeed revolutionize studies of the cosmic microwave background, providing the most detailed look yet at this relic radiation from the Big Bang. The follow-up mission to NASA’s pioneering satellite Cosmic Background Explorer, MAP is now scheduled for launch at the end of June. It will take until the fall to reach the orbit that researchers have specified for it to begin scanning the entire sky at microwave wavelengths. MAP scientists should have much to say about the microwave background sometime in 2002.–R. Cowen