2006 Gruber Cosmology Prize

After the launching of the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) by a Delta rocket in 1989, Dr. John Mather and the COBE Team were able to look far back in time to confirm that the universe was born in a hot Big Bang. The COBE, NASA's first dedicated cosmology mission, carried a Diffuse Infrared Background Experiment to search for cosmic infrared background radiation, a Differential Microwave Radiometer to map cosmic radiation sensitively, and a Far Infrared Absolute Spectrophotometer to compare the spectrum of the cosmic microwave background radiation with a precise blackbody. Each COBE instrument yielded a major cosmological discovery.