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PLANCK
Satellite PLANCK
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KEY EVENTS
Herschel and Planck satellites launched by Ariane 5

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NEWS

23/10/2013

Last command sent to ESA's Space telescope Planck

ESA's Planck space telescope has been turned off after nearly 4.5 years soaking up the relic radiation from the Big Bang.

Project scientist Jan Tauber sent the final command to the Planck satellite this afternoon at 12:10:27 UT, marking the end of operations for ESA's "time machine".

Read the complete news on ESA's website.

14/08/2013

LFI Instrument stopped

After 1554 days of mission, Planck satellite stopped its scientific observations on August 14, 2013. If the high frequency instrument HFI - under French prime contractorship - ceased its observations at 0.1 kelvin at the beginning of 2012, the low frequency instrument LFI was functional for nearly 600 additional days.

With eight mappings of the celestial sphere in the millimetric domain, Planck collaboration will have unprecedented maps in this wavelength domain.

The satellite will soon boosted away from its operational orbit around the L2 Sun-Earth Lagrange Point L2 by ESA teams.

02/07/2013

Conference "Planck Mission: the history of the Universe unveilled" at Joseph Fourier University (UJF) in Grenoble

July 2, 2013 at 20h, the labex Focus organized an astrophysics conference at CRDP in Grenoble. Open to all, this exceptional conference gathered three main scientists which helped the success of Planck Mission: Alain Benoît, François Bouchet and Andrea Catalano. Together they reviewed the progresses in our knowledge about the Universe realized thanks to the first results of Planck satellite.

Read the article on UJF web site (in French)
See the videos recorded during the conference (in French).

21/03/2013

Presentation of the first cosmologic results of Planck mission as well as its first all-sky images of the Cosmic Microwave Background

ESA's Planck satellite has delivered its first all-sky image of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB), bringing with it new challenges about our understanding of the origin and evolution of the cosmos. The image has provided the most precise picture of the early Universe so far.

The Cosmic Microwave Background - as seen by Planck. Credit: ESA and the Planck Collaboration.
The Cosmic Microwave Background - as seen by Planck. Credit: ESA and the Planck Collaboration

For the most part, the data agree extremely well with the 'standard model of cosmology' and allow for a much improved measure of its parameters. In the standard model, the Universe is described as homogeneous and isotropic on very large scales, and cosmic structure is the result of the slow growth of tiny density fluctuations that arose immediately after the Big Bang. At the same time, the extraordinary quality of the Planck data reveals the presence of subtle anomalies in the CMB pattern that might challenge the very foundations of cosmology. The most serious anomaly is a deficit in the signal at large angular scales on the sky, which is about ten per cent weaker than the standard model would like it to be. Other anomalous traits that had been hinted at in the past - a significant discrepancy of the CMB signal as observed in the two opposite hemispheres of the sky and an abnormally large 'cold spot' - are confirmed with high confidence. Planck's new image of the CMB suggests that some aspects of the standard model of cosmology may need a rethink, raising the possibility that the fabric of the cosmos, on the largest scales of the observable Universe, might be more complex than we think.

Read the complete article on ESA's website
Publications about Planck 2013 results

29/10/2012

Planck dicovered a hot gas filament linking two galaxy clusters

While mapping the sky in the microwave and submillimeter domain with PLANCK satellite, astronomers detected without ambiguity a hot gas "bridge" that connects the two galaxy clusters Abell 399 and Abell 401. The filament extends over 10 millions light-years and contains gas at the temperature of about 80 millions degrees. At least a part of this gas could come from the hot intergalactic medium - an evanescent fabric of gaseous filaments that seems to extend in the Universe.

Read the complete article on PLANCK French website (in French).
Read also this news on ESA's website

06/2012

Planck satellite genesis



(M4V format at low, medium or high resolution ~ 116, 130 or 185 Mb)

This video has been realized by Jean Mouette for the "Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris" (CNRS - Université Pierre et Marie Curie). This 18 minutes movie gives the opportunity to be conscious of the complexity represented by the construction of a space observatory such as Planck.

13/02/2012

A new step towards understanding the Universe

Thanks to HFI instrument from ESA's mission Planck, an international team from which several CNRS, CEA and French Universities searchers, has just revealed that our Galaxy contains islands of cold gas unknown until now. This result will be presented this week during an international conference in Bologna (Italy) where scientists from all over the world will discuss the intermediate results of Planck mission.

This all-sky image shows the distribution of carbon monoxide (CO), a molecule used by astronomers to trace molecular clouds, as seen by Planck. Some of them, unkown until now, are in areas far away from the Galactic plane. [The great structures in filigree are artifacts from the data processing and are not real] Credits: ESA / Planck collaboration
This all-sky image shows the distribution of carbon monoxide (CO), a molecule used by astronomers to trace molecular clouds, as seen by Planck. Some of them, unkown until now, are in areas far away from the Galactic plane. [The great structures in filigree are artifacts from the data processing and are not real] Credits: ESA / Planck collaboration

Read the article on ESA's website.
Or read the CNES Press Release (in French).

17/01/2012

End of mission for HFI, high frequency instrument of Planck satellite

After 30 months of examplary functioning, the high frequency instrument of the European Space Agency's satellite Planck, is switched off. During nearly 1000 days, its detectors have been the coldest objects of the extraterrestrial Universe, with a final life duration two times longer than schedulled. Planck mission sees a very high participation of French laboratories from CNRS and CEA, supported by CNES.

Read the entire Press Release (in French).

12/2011

Planck special feature in Astronomy & Astrophysics

Planck early results papers, which were submitted to Astronomy & Astrophysics in early January 2011, are now available in a special feature of Astronomy & Astrophysics Vol. 536, December 2011.

03/2011

Planck Early Results Papers

These papers, which have been submitted to Astronomy & Astrophysics in early January 2011, are produced by the Planck Collaboration, and are based on data acquired by Planck between 13 August 2009 and 6 June 2010. This set of papers describes the scientific performance of the Planck payload, and presents results on a variety of astrophysical topics related to the sources included in the ERCSC, as well as selected topics on difuse emission. The papers are available from the arXiv server astro-ph from arXiv:1101.2022 to arXiv:1101.2048.

All the papers...

15/01/2011

Meeting "Planck, a window on the Universe", On Saturday 15 Jaunuary from 15 h to 18 h, at the "Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie"

PDF Annonce

11/01/2011

PLANCK satellite delivers its first scientific results

The scientific community waited for 18 months for the data collected by Planck, the European Space Agency's satellite. The first scientific results are available. The first edition of the catalogue of compact sources (ERCSC, Early Release Compact Sources Catalogue) has been published and presented on January 11, with several thousand of sources detected by Planck.

This image illustrates the position in the sky of all thecompact sources, galactic and extragalactic, detected by Planck (ERCSC, Early Release Compact Sources Catalogue) - Credit: ESA/ Planck Collaboration
This image illustrates the position in the sky of all thecompact sources, galactic and extragalactic, detected by Planck (ERCSC, Early Release Compact Sources Catalogue) - Credit: ESA/ Planck Collaboration

Read the whole ESA news
Other ESA's news about Planck results

  Pictures taken during the Press Communication and then during the interviews Pictures taken during the Press Communication and then during the interviews Pictures taken during the Press Communication and then during the interviews
Pictures taken during the Press Communication and then during the interviews Pictures taken during the Press Communication and then during the interviews Pictures taken during the Press Communication and then during the interviews
Pictures taken during the Press Communication and then during the interviews
10-14/01/2011

Planck 2011 conference: "The millimeter and submillimeter sky in the Planck mission era", in Paris, "Cité des Sciences", 10-14 January 2011.

19/11/2010

ESA's Science Programme Committee approuved the new extension of PLANCK mission operations until December 31 2014, subjected to a mid-term review in 2012.

09-10/2010

First publications presenting the pre-launch status of the Planck mission in the review Astronomy and Astrophysics - Vol. 520 (September-October 2010)

09/2010

Planck's first glimpse at galaxy clusters and a new super-cluster

This image shows the newly discovered supercluster of galaxies detected by Planck
This image shows the newly discovered supercluster of galaxies detected by Planck with the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich Effect.
This image taken by XMM-Newton in X-ray emission, confirms the newly discovered supercluster of galaxies detected by Planck
This image taken by XMM-Newton in X-ray emission, confirms the newly discovered supercluster of galaxies detected by Planck.

Surveying the microwave sky, Planck has obtained its very first images of galaxy clusters, amongst the largest objects in the Universe, by means of the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect, a characteristic signature they imprint on the Cosmic Microwave Background. Joining forces in a fruitful collaboration between ESA missions, XMM-Newton followed up Planck's detections and revealed that one of them is a previously unknown supercluster of galaxies...

Read the news on the ESA website

07/2010

Planck satellite seen from the Earth - Credit: Alain Klotz, CESR - Pictures taken by an automated telescope in Australia.

Planck satellite seen from the Earth - Credit: Alain Klotz, CESR - Pictures taken by an automated telescope in Australia

07/2010

Planck all-sky image depicts galactic mist over the cosmic background

The first complete sky by Planck satellite - Credits: ESA/ LFI & HFI Consortia
The first complete sky by Planck satellite
Credits: ESA/ LFI & HFI Consortia

An all-sky image from Planck's recently completed first survey highlights the two major emission sources in the microwave sky: the cosmic background and the Milky Way. The relic radiation coming from the very early Universe is, to a large extent, masked by intervening astronomical sources, in particular by our own Galaxy's diffuse emission. Thanks to Planck's nine frequency channels, and to sophisticated image analysis techniques, it is possible to separate these two contributions into distinct scientific products that are of immense value for cosmologists and astrophysicists, alike.

Read an article on CNES' blog (in French)
Read the news on the ESA website

04/2010

New Planck images highlights the complexity of star formation

The new images from Planck satellite show the interstellar medium, stars, gas and dust clouds conglomeration under differents angles, and reveals new aspects of our galaxy.
The results obtained by Planck mission will enable among other things to understand the formation stars in the Milky Way as well as in other galaxies of the Universe. Planck will thus enable to go back to the Universe infancy, by giving us a quickview of what it was 380 000 ans after the Big Bang, after examination under 9 observation frequencies.
Planck data will be available for the international scientific community by the end of 2012.

The region of sky covered by the Planck images is shown on a view of half the sky
The region of sky covered by the Planck images is shown on a view of half the sky as seen in visible and infrared light. The smaller patch corresponds to Orion and the larger to Perseus.
Credit: ESA/LFI & HFI Consortia/STScI DSS

Read the complete news on ESA website
Read the complete news on CNES website (in French)

03/2010

New Planck images trace cold dust and reveal large-scale structure in the Milky Way

New images from ESA's Planck mission reveal details of the structure of the coldest regions in our Galaxy. Filamentary clouds predominate, connecting the largest to the smallest scales in the Milky Way. These images are a scientific by-product of a mission which will ultimately provide the sharpest picture ever of the early Universe.

In the Planck image, the dark horizontal band is the plane of our Galaxy
The Planck image, covering a portion of the sky about 55°, was obtained by the High Frequency Instrument at a frequency of 857 GHz. The dark horizontal band is the plane of our Galaxy, seen in cross-section from our vantage point. The colours represent the intensity of heat radiation by dust.
Credit: ESA and the HFI Consortium, Axel Mellinger

Read the complete news on ESA website
Read the complete news on CNRS website
(in French)

09/2009

After the satisfying conclusion of the "first light" survey, Planck is declared "fit for duty", which implies that the full sky mapping has already begun.

Surimposition of PLANCK first observations on the whole sky at optical wavelengths
A map of the whole sky at optical wavelengths shows a prominent horizontal band which is the light shining from our own Milky Way, seen in profile from our vantage point. The superposed false-color strip shows the area of the sky mapped by Planck during the First Light Survey. The color scale indicates the magnitude of the deviations of the temperature of the Cosmic Microwave Background from its average value, as measured by Planck at a frequency close to the peak of the CMB spectrum (red is hotter and blue is colder). The large red strips trace radio emission from the Milky Way, whereas the small bright spots high above the galactic plane correspond to emission from the Cosmic Microwave Background itself.
[Figure credits: LFI & HFI Consortia (Planck), Axel Mellinger (optical)]

Read the complete news on ESA website

09/2009

After the successful satellite commissioning phase in July, and the completion of the FLS (First Light Survey) in August, Planck is now beginning the first survey of the whole sky. Planck should now observe in routine mode for an uninterrupted period of at least 15 months.

07/2009

The programme entered the Calibration and Performance Verification phase (CPV Phase) for the payload instruments. It includes the pointing capabilities, the satellite sensors calibration , the determination of the instruments performances in every modes, and the initial calibration of the payload instruments. At the end of this phase (end of July) should begin the First Light Survey (FLS) until August 12, first survey of the mission.

Depending on the FLS results, some parameters could still evolve. The PLANCK routine mission could then begin and the FLS could in fact be the begining of the routine mission if nothing has been changed after the FLS.

HFI Instrument new cooling figures  New distance between Planck and the Earth
HFI Instrument new cooling figures and distance between Planck and the Earth

03/07/2009

Planck, the coolest spacecraft ever in orbit around L2

Last night, the detectors of Planck's High Frequency Instrument reached their amazingly low operational temperature of -273.05°C, making them the coldest known objects in space. The spacecraft has also just entered its final orbit around the second Lagrange point of the Sun-Earth system, L2.

Read the complete article

22/06/2009

Planck satellite manoeuvre aims at L2 arrival. Planck, is still in cooling phase for the instruments with the first acquisitions planned in July (see figures for the temperature and the position).

HFI Instrument cooling figures  Distance between Planck and the Earth
HFI Instrument cooling figures and distance between Planck and the Earth

21/05/2009 Herschel and Planck commissioning has begun.
14/05/2009 Successful launch of Herschel and Planck satellites!
02/2009 - 04/2009 Launch campaign
19/02/2009 Planck arrival at CSG/Kourou
  Planck satellite under the protection during the transfer Planck and Herschel in the clean room at CSG Planck and Herschel in the clean room at CSG
© ESA/CNES/Arianespace
02/2009 Space Conversation "Planck and the great history of the Universe" (in french)
mid-09/2008 - 02/2009 Transfer at ESTEC, alignment, satellite functional tests, SVT2, leak tests, launch aptitude review, satellite put in a container for its transfer to Kourou
12/2008 Launch aptitude review
05/2008 - mid-09/2008 SVT1, SOVT1 complements tests, thermal tests at CSL Liège, IST2 (more information)
07/2008 Radio Frequency RF qualification campaign (more information)
05/2008 Transfer at CSL Liège
09/2007 - 05/2008 RFQM tests, end of the satellite FM integration, platform - data base - flight software tests, IST1, EMC, SVT1 satellite tests, mechanical tests
18-19-20/06/2007 PLANCK Consortium Meeting 2007 in Toulouse (more information)
05/2007 - 09/2007 Payload integration and warm functional tests
22/11/2006 HFI and LFI instruments focal planes integration ( 17 Mb - Credits CNES - Alcatel)
04/10/2006

Nobel Prize for physics to Cosmology
The 2006 Nobel Prize for physics has been awarded to Americans John C. Mather et George F. Smoot for their work on NASA's COsmic Background Explorer (COBE) satellite launched in 1989. (more information)

08/2006 HFI focal plane ready for integration with the italian instrument LFI
06/2006 - 08/2006 Scientific calibration of HFI focal plane (more information)
End 04/2006 Mechanical commissionning tests of the whole HFI focal plane (structure + detectors + bolometers)
26/03/2006 First cryogenic tests of the satellite flight model (more information)


Latest update 24/10/2013