Planck is an international mission of NASA, the United States’ National Aeronautics and Space Administration and ESA (and this is a link), the European Space Agency. Set to launch in April 2009, Planck will map the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) radiation of the universe in great detail, across nine frequency bands, as well as measure the polarization of the CMB.
Planck is the third generation of satellites to map the CMB, coming after the COBE and WMAP satellites.
Here you will find information about the mission, as well as general information about cosmology, extracting information from the Power Spectrum of the CMB, and understanding what we can learn about the physics of the early universe by studying the polarization power spectrum of the CMB.
The PLANCK mission looks back at the very dawn of time … to measure the the Cosmic Microwave Radiation of the Universe, the oldest light we can see, coming from a time when the Universe was somewhere between 300,000 and 400,000 years old – about 13.7 billion years ago. PLANCK will measure small temperature differences across the sky on the order of a few millionths of a degree. These temperature variations correspond to density variations in the earliest moments of the Universe. Thus, accurately measuring the cosmic background radiation can give us information about the very young Universe.
Planck will help us answer questions such as:
- How big and how old is the universe?
- What is the shape of space?
- We know that most of the matter in the Universe is in some “dark” form that we can’t see, but we can detect from its gravity. What is this dark matter?
- We know the universe is expanding. But recently, we found that the rate of expansion is accelerating! What is the energy, behind this acceleration? Is it the “dark energy”? IF so, it would make up for 70% energy in the universe…
- How did the stars, galaxies and other objects as we see them, form?
- Did the universe (early stages) have a period of inflation (rapid expansion) ?
On 21st March 2013 Planck release the first set of cosmological results:
For more information about the Planck Mission, please visit:
Planck Education & Outreach