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According to the Big Bang model, the radiation from the sky we measure today comes from a spherical surface called the surface of last scattering.
This represents the set of locations in space at which the decoupling event is estimated to have occurred Two of the greatest successes of the Big Bang theory are its prediction of the almost perfect black body spectrum and its detailed prediction of the anisotropies in the cosmic microwave background.
When the universe cooled enough, protons and electrons combined to form neutral hydrogen atoms.
Unlike the uncombined protons and electrons, these newly conceived atoms could not absorb the thermal radiation, and so the universe became transparent instead of being an opaque fog.
The CMB dipole as well as aberration at higher multipoles have been measured, consistent with galactic motion.
The discovery of CMB is landmark evidence of the Big Bang origin of the universe.
This is the source of the alternative term relic radiation.
The surface of last scattering refers to the set of points in space at the right distance from us so that we are now receiving photons originally emitted from those points at the time of photon decoupling.
As the universe expanded, adiabatic cooling caused the energy density of the plasma to decrease until it became favorable for electrons to combine with protons, forming hydrogen atoms.
This recombination event happened when the temperature was around 3000 K or when the universe was approximately 379,000 years old. The intensity of the radiation also corresponds to black-body radiation at 2.726 K because red-shifted black-body radiation is just like black-body radiation at a lower temperature.