- Astronomy & Space Science
- Astronomical instruments
- Cosmic background radiation from the Planck spacecraft
Cosmic background radiation from the Planck spacecraft
Research Review By:
Demianski, Marek Department of Astronomy, Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts; and Department of Theory of Relativity and Gravitation, Institute of Theoretical Physics, University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland.
- COBE and WMAP missions
- Data analysis
- Information from the results
- Open questions
- Additional Readings
The European Space Agency Planck satellite, named after the German physicist Max Planck, was specially designed to measure very precisely temperature and polarization of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation across the whole sky. To fulfill this goal, the Planck satellite was equipped with two sets of detectors: the Low-Frequency Instrument (LFI), which consists of 22 radio receivers cooled to 4 K (4 degrees above absolute zero) and operates in the frequency range 27–77 GHz; and the High-Frequency Instrument (HFI), which consists of 52 bolometers cooled to only 0.1 K and operates in the frequency range 100–857 GHz. All the LFI bolometers and 32 of the HFI bolometers were designed to measure the level of polarization of the CMB radiation. The optical system provided an angular resolution of 5 arc minutes, which is three times better than any previous CMB space mission. Its primary mirror is of elliptical shape, with a longer diameter of 1.75 m (69 in) and a shorter diameter of 1.5 m (59 in).
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