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Department of Physics

The Cavendish Laboratory


The Planck Explorer satellite

About the Project

  • The Planck Satellite was launched in 2009
  • The Planck mission has collected and characterised radiation from the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) using sensitive radio receivers operating at extremely low temperatures.
  • The telescope has mapped the sky in 8 wavebands in order to eliminate the many foreground emissions. The result has been an order of magnitude improvement over the WMAP observations.
  • The questions that Planck is answering include:
    • What are the (more precise) values of fundamental cosmological parameters such as the Hubble constant?
    • Can it be shown conclusively that the early Universe passed through an inflationary phase?
    • What is the nature of the dark matter that dominates the present Universe?

Cavendish AP Group involvement

  • The Group is a partner with the Institute of Astronomy in the Cambridge Planck Data Analysis Centre.
  • The results will provide definitive values for the cosmological parameters and test thoroughly our understanding of the standard ΛCDM cosmological model.