The Noble prize for physics was awarded on Tuesday to two Americans, John Mather of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland and George Smoot of the University of California, Berkeley, for their work leading a satellite initiative that lends credence to the Big Bang theory of creation, Reuters reports.
The $1.37 million (10 million Swedish crowns) prize was awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which said both Mather and Smoot’s work has been key to the success of NASA’s cosmic background explorer (COBE) satellite initiative, launched in the late 1980s, according to Reuters.
The academy said measurement of the temperatures of cosmic microwave background radiation offers scientists information related to how long the universe, galaxies and stars have been in existence, Reuters reports.
It also said, “The COBE results provide increased support for the Big Bang scenario for the origin of the Universe, as this is the only scenario that predicts the kind of cosmic microwave background radiation measured by COBE,” according to Reuters.
Sixty-year-old Mather oversaw the complete workings of the COBE program while 61-year-old Smoot was in charge of keeping tabs on the changes in temperature of the radiation, the academy said, Reuters reports.
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