EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY / NASA / JPL-CALTECH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY / NASA / JPL-CALTECH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Milky Way galaxy, Planck microwave image. The European Space Agency's Planck space observatory surveyed the sky in the microwave region. It observed the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB), the distant radiation left over from the Big Bang, but also observed microwave emissions from nearer objects within our galaxy. These emissions were isolated to enable study of the CMB. Here, galactic emissions are colour-coded: red (dust), yellow (carbon monoxide), blue (synchrotron radiation), and green (free-free radiation from hot ionised gas). The Planck space observatory operated from 2009 to 2012. This image was published in 2015.
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