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Planck
Introduction
Planck is a Mission led by the European Space Agency, with significant participation by NASA. Planck's purpose is to measure, with high precision and great detail, the oldest light we can detect, almost 14 billion years old, almost to the Big Bang itself. This light, now stretched into microwave radiation by the expansion of the Universe, is called the Cosmic Microwave Background radiation.

Planck superimposed on a simulated false-colour map of the CMB. (Image: ESA – D. Ducros; background ESA)
This picture shows Planck superimposed on a simulated false-colour map of the CMB.
(Image: ESA – D. Ducros; background ESA)


In this interactive presentation, you will find:
  • A brief history of the discovery of the CMB and what we hope to learn about the history of the universe and fundamental physics from Planck
  • An overview of the scientific objectives of the Planck Mission – what we hope to accomplish with this satellite
  • Instrumentation and orbital parameters – and some cool pictures of Planck under construction at Alcatel, the European Space Agency laboratory in France
  • The CMB Explained: and how we extract information about the early Universe from the Power Spectrum of the CMB
  • Paradoxes in our current understanding of the Universe that Planck will help us resolve
  • Some resources for educators


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