Archive for the ‘HFI’ Category

First Results from Planck Released!

September 17, 2009

ESA has just announced the first results form the Planck satellite. The ESA release can be found here and some more images and information (if you can read French) can be found here, and similar extra details are also on the UK Planck site here. My colleague Andrew Jaffe also has his take on things here.

These first images of strips of the sky look great, and are visibly better than those from WMAP, the previous NASA CMB satellite. We have a lot more work to do to cover the entire sky. Only then can we start to look at the details of the microwave background and the Big Bang physics that this allows us to probe. But this is a great start to things!

The Planck First Light Survey

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Start of the Normal Operations!

August 29, 2009

The results of a two week mini-survey finished on 27th August. All went well, so the all sky surveys, due to last 15 months, have now begun!

More information available from ESA.

Results from the mini-survey are being analyzed but we’re not allowed to say anything about them until something official is released.

Nearly ready!

July 5, 2009

Planck is now officially the coolest place in the known universe with the detectors for the High Frequency Instrument now at their operating temperature of 100mK – just 0.1 degree above absolute zero. The spacecraft is also nearly at its destination, with the final maneuvering burn made to set it in orbit around the L2 point, 1.5 million kilometers from Earth.

Science observations coming soon!