Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson

Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson

On May 20, 1964, two astronomers named Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson working at a New Jersey laboratory turned a giant microwave antenna toward what they thought would be a quiet part of the Milky Way. When they heard static, they thought they were hearing interference from pigeon poop on their antennae. They were actually hearing microwave background remains of the beginnings of the universe.

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