Planck space observatory, initial results

Planck space observatory, initial results

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Caption: Planck space observatory, first light survey. Whole-sky map with the Milky Way across centre, with the coloured band showing the initial scans carried out by the Planck space observatory. This unmanned spacecraft, launched in May 2009, is designed to study the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB), the radiation left over from the Big Bang. Planck scans the sky as it spins (shown here as a wavy line). This circle will move round the sky at a rate of 1 degree per day, taking about 6 months to complete a full scan. The first survey began in August 2009 and was completed in June 2010.

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