Posts Tagged ‘Press’

Planck at the Royal Society

June 13, 2009

[cross-posted from Planck UK site]

The Planck mission will be represented at this year’s Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition. This prestigious event, hosted every year at the Royal Society, in London, allows around 20 different groups of scientists to present their work, covering all fields of science. This year, scientists from around the UK working on Planck and Herschel will be presenting an exhibit entitled “From the oldest light to the youngest stars: the Herschel and Planck missions“.

The exhibition is completely free to members of the public, and is open from Tuesday 30th June until Saturday 4th July. We will have scale models of Planck and Herschel, and will allow visitors to explore both the Universe and the world around them at different wavelengths. A key attraction should be an infrared camera, which will allow people to have their infrared portrait taken. There will also be an interesting way of viewing the sky at a number of wavelengths, and of course freebies to take away. The stars of the show, though, should be the scientists themselves. We will be there to explain what we are doing with these exciting missions, and to answer all the questions you might want to ask.

So if you’re in London on a couple of weeks, pop in to the Royal Society and see the exhibition. With 21 exhibits covering a huge range of groundbreaking research areas there should be something for everyone – and there’ll almost certainly be something that grabs your attention that you had no idea existed.

Pre-launch blitz

May 8, 2009

Cross-posted from Andrew Jaffe’s Blog:

With less than a week to go before its planned launch, The Planck Surveyor Satellite has been loaded into the fairing of its Ariane 5 rocket along with its sister satellite, Herschel. It is scheduled to be rolled out to the pad on May 13, and the launch window opens on May 14 at 13:12 GMT. Within three months, it will be at the Lagrange 2 (L2) point, from where it can watch the sky with the Sun, Earth and Moon all comfortably shielded from view.

Once there, Planck will scan the sky for at least 14 months. But don’t expect to see much out of the mouths (or blogs, or printers) of Planck scientists for a while: we’ve got a full year thereafter to analyze the data, followed by a year’s “proprietary period” during which we’ll do our best to extract the most exciting science. But until then — the first rule of Planck is: you do not talk about Planck. The second rule of Planck is: you DO NOT talk about Planck. (Luckily, Herschel expects to release its pictures of the infrared and submillimetre universe much more quickly.)

For now, the European Space Agency, the UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council, and of course us Planck scientists ourselves have been gearing up both for the scientific data — and the press.

ESA has a Herschel and Planck launch campaign page with a nifty live countdown (which users of Apple’s Safari browser can make a dashboard widget out of). Last week, STFC held a pre-launch press event in London, which got us some coverage in The Independent, The Daily Mail, The Telegraph, The Times, as well as BBC Radio and TV news. (And Sky at Night will have coverage from the launch.)
We’ve also been covered in New Scientist (complete with always-exciting quotes from me).

If this media saturation isn’t enough, you can check out the page dedicated to Planck in the UK, Follow Planck on Twitter (and Herschel too), read the Planck Mission Blog (there’s one for Herschel, too).

As for me, I’m taking a break from this term’s teaching — off to French Guiana next week for the launch (barring further delays). For those of you less lucky, it will be visible on satellite tv and streamed by ESA. I’ll do my best to keep up the twittering and blogging, probably cross-posting from here to the Planck Mission Blog. Wish us luck!


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