Planck space observatory construction

Planck space observatory construction

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Credit: PATRICK DUMAS/LOOK AT SCIENCES/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Planck space observatory construction. Technicians assembling the European Space Agency's (ESA) Planck space observatory. This unmanned spacecraft was built by Thales Alenia Space and launched on 14 May 2009. The aim of the mission is to study the Cosmic Microwave Background, the radiation left over from the Big Bang. In July 2009, Planck reached the second Lagrangian point (L2), situated about 1.5 million kilometres from Earth in the direction opposite to the Sun, and by February 2010 it had successfully started a second all-sky survey. Photographed at the Cannes Mandelieu Space Center, France, on 28th August 2007.

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