Posts Tagged ‘STFC’

Planck Completes First Survey of the Sky

February 28, 2010

On February 14th, Planck completed its first survey of the whole sky. But there was no rest – it immediately started on its second all-sky survey.

The nominal Planck mission is for two all sky surveys, with the second survey completed in 6 months from now. However, the satellite is using cryogens sufficiently sparingly that it’s capable of two further all sky surveys, for a total of 4. This will give it greater sensitivity, greater control of systematic effects, and a chance to extend its search for variable and moving, ie. solar system, objects. ESA has approved this extension, so the project will certainly go to 4 surveys. Quite what STFC, the UK astronomy funding body which is going through a series of financial crises, will do about this isn’t clear…