2002 — The Cosmic Background Imager (CBI) in Chile obtained images of the cosmic microwave background radiation with the highest angular resolution of 4 arc minutes. It also obtained the anisotropy spectrum at high-resolution not covered before up to l ~ 3000. It found a slight excess in power at high-resolution (l > 2500) not yet completely explained, the so-called "CBI-excess".
Genome sequence of the plant Arabidopsis thaliana
12 February 2002 discovery of 42354 Kindleberger
15 April 2002 discovery of 43669 Winterthur
4 June 2002 discovery of 50000 Quaoar
2002 Death of Archer Martin
Riccardo Giacconi "for pioneering contributions to astrophysics, which have led to the discovery of cosmic X-ray sources"
Chemistry "for the development of methods for identification and structure analyses of biological macromolecules" to John Bennett Fenn and Koichi Tanaka "for their development of soft desorption ionisation methods for mass spectrometric analyses of biological macromolecules" and to Kurt Wüthrich "for his development of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy for determining the three-dimensional structure of biological macromolecules in solution"
Physiology or Medicine to Sydney Brenner, H. Robert Horvitz and John E. Sulston "for their discoveries concerning 'genetic regulation of organ development and programmed cell death'"