Poll: Interstellar travel
When will humans leave our solar system for the first time?
Planck Space Telescope
Planck is Europe’s first mission to study the relic radiation from the Big Bang.
The mission is named after the German physicist Max Planck, whose work on the behaviour of radiation and won the Nobel Prize in 1918.
The Planck satellite will observe the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB). This is the radiation released into the Universe by the Big Bang itself, about 14 thousand million years ago.
Planck will measure the temperature variations across this microwave background with much better sensitivity, angular resolution and frequency range than any previous satellite. The combination of these factors will give astronomers an unprecedented view of our Universe when it was extremely young - just 380 000 years old.
Planck’s maps will allow a number of specific investigations to take place:
Planck will be launched in tandem with ESA’s Herschel space telescope with Ariane V rocket.