Europe’s Planck satellite has been turned off after nearly 4.5 years of soaking up the relic radiation from the Big Bang and studying the formation of stars and galaxies throughout fourteen billion years of cosmic history. Since its launch in 2009, Planck has been mapping the entire sky to observe the afterglow of the Big […]
After an impressive two and a half years of operation, Planck’s High Frequency Instrument has finally exhausted its onboard coolant gases and reached the end of its very successful mission. Meanwhile the Low Frequency Instrument, which does not need to be super-cold, will continue taking data with unprecedented sensitivity at longer wavelengths. Planck’s primary mission […]
Planck started scanning the sky on 14th August 2009, and is still going 500 days later. Once every minute, Planck has spun on its axis to map rings around the sky. Now well into its third sky survey, Planck is more than half-way through its mission, and is mapping the sky at nine different wavelengths […]
The release of Planck’s first image of the whole sky has been voted the 7th best science story of 2010 by Discover Magazine. The magazine compiled a list of the best stories from the whole of science – from astronomy to biology, and from robotics to genetics. In July, the first image of the whole sky from Planck was released, combining […]
The scientific journal Nature has listed Planck as one of its key events of 2010. The folks at Nature are as excited as we are about the first images from Planck and can’t wait for more – though the full results will come a couple of years later. As ever, watch this space! In April, Planck will mark […]
The Planck satellite is not only being monitored by the mission controllers at the Mission Operations Centre. It is also being watched by optical astronomers, who have captured images of the satellite against the starry background. There are two methods of doing this, one is to stare at the area of sky which the spacecraft […]
At the start of July, around 40 members of the Herschel and Planck teams represented these missions to the public at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition. It was great to attend at explain what we’re doing and why we do it to interested people. A lot of planning goes into such exhibits, and it […]
The teams behind Planck and Herschel have been awarded the “Grand Prix 2010” by the French Association for Aeronautics and Astronautics (AAAF), to acknowledge their “outstanding space endeavours”. The prize was awarded on 9th June 2010 in Paris, and senior members of the teams behind both of these groundbreaking missions were there to collect the award on behalf of […]
A video of the launch party held at Cardiff University’s School of Physics and Astronomy can be seen below. It includes discussion about the Herschel and Planck missions and what the scientists hope to discover, as well as their reactions to such a successful launch.
Professor Phil Mauskopf, of Cardiff University’s School of Physics and Astronomy, gave the talk below at the launch party held at the University.