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Planck a Mission to Understand the Orgin and Evoloution of Our Universe

Planck a Mission to Understand the Orgin and Evoloution of Our Universe

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Published by Bob Andrepont

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Published by: Bob Andrepont on Apr 22, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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    P    L    A    N    C    K
 Amission to understand the origin and evolutionofourUniverse
July 2000
 A Abboouu E  E SS A A
 The European Space Agency (ESA) was formed on 31 May 1975.It currently has 14 Member States:Austria,Belgium,Denmark,Finland,France,Germany,Ireland,Italy,The Netherlands,Norway,Spain,Sweden,Switzerland and the United Kingdom.Canada is also a partner in some of the ESA programmes. The ESA Science Programme has launched a series of innovative andsuccessful missions.Highlights of the programme include:
,the first space observatory ever launched,it marked thereal beginning of ultraviolet astronomy.
,which took the first close-up pictures of a cometnucleus (Halley) and completed flybys of Comets Halley andGrigg-Skjellerup.
which fixed the positions of the stars far moreaccurately than ever before and changed astronomers' ideasabout the scale of the local Universe.
which studied cool gas clouds and planetaryatmospheres.Everywhere it looked it found water in surprisingabundance.
which is providing new views of the Sun'satmosphere and interior,revealing solar tornadoes and theprobable cause of the supersonic solar wind.
the first spacecraft to fly over the Sun’s poles.SS
Hubble Space Telescope
a collaboration withNASA on the world's most important and successful orbitalobservatory.
a probe to land on the mysterious surface of Saturn's largest moon,Titan in 2004.Part of the internationalCassini mission.
with its powerful mirrors,is helping tosolve many cosmic mysteries of the violent X-ray Universe,from enigmatic black holes to the formation of galaxies.
For further information on the ESA Science Programme please contact the Science ProgrammeCommunication Service on (tel.) +31-71-5653223More information can also be obtained via the ESA Science Web Site at:http://www.sci.esa.intCompiled by:Monica Salamone and Jan TauberPublished by:ESA Publications DivisionESTEC,PO Box 2992200 AG Noordwijk  The NetherlandsEditor:Bruce BattricDesign & Layout:Carel HaakmanGraphics:Medialab,Willem Versteeg (ESA)Illustrations:Alcatel Space,D.Ducros,NASA/COBE,HFI & LFI ConsortiaCopyright:© 2000 European Space AgencyISBN No.:92-9092-619-8Price:15 Dfl/7 EurosPrinted in The Netherlands
 L Looooking bking backacktoto
the dathe dan on oimeime
 Artist’s impression of ESA’s Planck satellite
Only a century ago,the origin of the Universe was a topic that fewscientists dared to touch:they simply lacked the experimental means togather reliable data.The situation is quite different now.Cosmology,thescience that aims at explaining how the Universe formed and evolves,has become one of the richest and hottest fields of experimentalresearch.Key discoveries made during the last eight decades show that in thepast the Universe was very small,dense and hot,and that it started tocool and expand – a process that is still going on today – about 15 000 million years ago. This version of events,known as the Big Bang theory,is currently considered a firm scenario.But the picture is still far from complete.Questions such as what triggered the birth of the Universe,or how it will evolve in the future,remain unanswered. These questions,though,are no longeruntouchable.Contrary to what happened acentury ago,scientists now know where to look for the answers,and they are steadily gaining themeans to do so.The era of experimentalcosmology is indeed in full swing:ongoingexperiments are starting to yield new andexciting results.But in the coming years the fieldwill be enriched with complex space-basedinstruments specifically designed to tacklefundamental problems. The Planck satellite,a mission of the EuropeanSpace Agency due to be launched in 2007,is themost ambitious of these space missions.Planck will provide the most precise and reliable data of its kind ever obtained,and by so doing it willtake scientists the closest ever to the origin of our Universe.Planck is currently being designedby astronomers all around Europe to help tosolve many of the big questions still pending incosmology.

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