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Planck Science Team Home

Latest News
  • COSPAR Space Science Award: We are pleased to announce that the Principal Investigator of Planck/HFI, Dr. Jean-Loup Puget, has been presented by COSPAR on 4 August with the 2014 Space Science Award. See the press release.

  • Identification of Planck clusters with the RTT150 telescope: On 25 July 2014, the Planck Collaboration has released a paper presenting the results of approximately three years of observations of Planck Sunyaev-Zeldovich sources with the Russian-Turkish 1.5-m telescope, as a part of the optical follow-up programme undertaken by the Planck collaboration. Click to know more.

  • The Andromeda Galaxy as seen by Planck: On 22 July 2014, the Planck Collaboration has released a paper examining the morphology of the Andromeda Galaxy (M31), including a study of its outermost spiral arms, and the dust heating mechanism across M31. Click to know more.

  • Planck 2014 - The microwave sky in temperature and polarization: an international conference dedicated to the scientific results of the second cosmological data release from Planck. Results from other experiments will be presented and discussed as well. The conference will be held in Ferrara, Italy, 1-5 December 2014. Registration for the conference is open. The deadline for registration is November 20, 2014. Click to know more.

  • Constraints on variation of fundamental constants: On 1st July 2014, the Planck Collaboration has released a paper examining in detail the degeneracies between fundamental constants and the cosmological parameters. Click to know more.

  • Galactic plane emission: On 20 June 2014, the Planck Collaboration has released a paper describing various emission components in the Galactic plane derived from Planck with ancillary data. Click to know more.

  • Polarized emission from Galactic dust: On 6 May 2014, the Planck Collaboration has released four papers describing the properties of polarised dust emission from the Milky Way. This emission traces the direction of the galactic magnetic field and provides new constraints on dust physics. Click to know more.



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Planck is ESA's mission to observe the first light in the Universe. Planck was selected in 1995 as the third Medium-Sized Mission (M3) of ESA's Horizon 2000 Scientific Programme, and later became part of its Cosmic Vision Programme. It was designed to image the temperature and polarization anisotropies of the Cosmic Background Radiation Field over the whole sky, with unprecedented sensitivity and angular resolution. Planck is testing theories of the early universe and the origin of cosmic structure and providing a major source of information relevant to many cosmological and astrophysical issues. The scientific development of the mission is directed by the Planck Science Team.

Planck was formerly called COBRAS/SAMBA. After the mission was selected and approved (in late 1996), it was renamed in honor of the German scientist Max Planck (1858-1947), Nobel Prize for Physics in 1918.

Planck was launched on 14 May 2009, and the minimum requirement for success was for the spacecraft to complete two whole surveys of the sky. In the end, Planck worked perfectly for 30 months, about twice the span originally required, and completed five full-sky surveys with both instruments. Able to work at slightly higher temperatures than HFI, the Low Frequency Instrument (LFI) continued to survey the sky for a large part of 2013, providing even more data to improve the Planck final results. Read full story. Planck was turned off on 23 October 2013. The high-quality data the mission has produced will continue to be scientifically explored in the years to come.

Planck featured on a number of lists of top science items for 2013: #Nature’s article 365 days: 2013 in review. #Named one of the 10 Breakthroughs of the Year by Physics World. #Among the BBC's Best Space Images of 2013. #Most important news of the year according to Le Scienze. (the Italian edition of Scientific American). #Chosen 2014 NERSC Award for High Impact Scientific Achievement. #Cover of the 28 December issue of Science. #Chosen Science News Top Stories of 2013.

More information on Planck may be accessed via the links to the left and right (some of the links are restricted).
Please note that these pages are largely directed to the astronomical and Planck communities.

Other Planck pages under ESA's Main Planck Portal and Sci-Tech Planck Portal are more specifically directed to the public and the press.


Need help ? If you are a member of the Planck Collaboration, with access to restricted areas of rssd pages, and are having problems using these facilities, you can ask for help by sending an email to RSSD Helpdesk putting "Planck" in the subject field. Also note that: (a) logging in via the rssd portal - via the menu at the left - solves most access problems; (b) if you have problems with your password, first try the automated password reset facility via the menu at left.
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This page was first created on 30 October, 2003 and was last updated on 5 August, 2014.
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