Planck space observatory, artwork

Planck space observatory, artwork

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Credit: EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY/D. DUCROS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Planck space observatory, with the Earth in the background, artwork. This unmanned spacecraft, which measures 4.2 metres by 4.2 metres, was launched from Earth (upper right) in May 2009. Here, it is travelling to the second Lagrangian point (L2), situated about 1.5 million kilometres from Earth in the direction opposite to the Sun. The aim of the mission is to study the Cosmic Microwave Background, the radiation left over from the Big Bang. Planck took around 6 months to arrive at its destination, and is scheduled to spend 15 months surveying the sky. At upper left is the baffle surrounding the detection equipment. The circular areas at right are part of the cooling system.

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Keywords: 2009, 21st century, artwork, astronomical, astronomy, astrophysical, astrophysics, baffle, cmb, cooling system, cosmic microwave background, cosmological, cosmology, detector, earth, esa, european space agency, fossil light, fossil radiation, illustration, l2, l2 point, lagrangian point, may, microwave radiation, physical, physics, planck space observatory, planet, research, second lagrangian point, sensor, solar system, space, space observatory, space telescope, spacecraft, spaceflight, technological, technology, universe

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