Planck space observatory heat sinks

Planck space observatory heat sinks

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Credit: EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY/S. CORVAJA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Planck space observatory heat sinks. This large baffle, which surrounds this space telescope's instruments, is designed to radiate heat from the cooling system out into space. The cooling system achieves temperatures of a few degrees above absolute zero using stages that include liquid hydrogen and liquid helium isotopes. This unmanned spacecraft, launched on 14 May 2009, is designed to study the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB), the radiation left over from the Big Bang. Photographed in the S1B clean room at the CSG launch site in Kourou, French Guiana, at the end of February 2009.

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