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Science Objectives of the Planck Mission
By accurately mapping the oldest light of the Universe, and deriving an accurate power spectrum of this light, we expect to gain a better understanding of the nature of the so-called "dark sector" which comprises approximately 96% of our universe...

Content of the Universe: 72% Dark Energy; 23% Dark Matter; 4.6% Ordinary Matter
Distribution of Dark Energy, Dark Matter, and ordinary Matter in the Universe. (Image Credit: NASA/WMAP Science Team)

...and better understand how the Universe and everything in it came into existence!

History of the Universe
A graphical history of the Universe, with emphasis on the very early Universe. (Image Credit: E.P.S. Shellard, 2003)
Origin of the CMB ~400,000 years after the initial "Big Bang"
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Hydrogen and helium and a few other light elements formed at ~3 minutes after the initial "Big Bang"
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10-43 seconds from the origin of the Universe: we cannot know what came before this time!
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This is an ambitious mission, to be sure! Next we will explain the instrument packages, the orbit, and the data gathering operation so you can see just how the Planck scientists plan to accomplish the goals we just described.
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