EDP Sciences

A&A special feature: Planck 2013 results (October 2014)

Astronomy & Astrophysics is publishing a special feature of 31 articles describing the data gathered by Planck over 15 months of observations and released by ESA and the Planck Collaboration in March 2013. This series of papers presents the initial scientific results extracted from this first Planck dataset.

Download this press release (PDF)

The Planck satellite was launched in May 2009. With the highest accuracy to date, it measures the remnants of the radiation that filled the Universe immediately after the Big Bang. It is the oldest light in the Universe, emitted when it was 380000 years old. This light is observed today as the cosmic microwave background (CMB). Its maximum intensity is about 150 GHz (2 mm), and its temperature about 3K. The study of the CMB is currently a very active field of research in cosmology because it provides strong constraints on the cosmological models. In particular, observations of the CMB confirm the key prediction of the Big Bang model and, more precisely, what cosmologists call the concordance model of cosmology.

Figure 1

Fig. 1. The stack of images in the figure shows: in the center, the nine all-sky images ranging from 30 GHz (left) to 857 GHz (right); at far left, a combined view of all frequencies; at far right, the all-sky image of the temperature anisotropies of the CMB derived by Planck.

With the 2013 release of the intensity signal measured during the first 15 months of observation, Planck data are providing major new advances in different domains of cosmology and astrophysics. In the very near future, the Planck Collaboration will release a new dataset that includes all of its observations in intensity and in polarization. This new dataset will be a lasting legacy for the community for many years to come.

For more information:

Dr. Jennifer Martin
Astronomy & Astrophysics
61, avenue de l'Observatoire
75014 Paris, France
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Phone: +33 (0)1 43 29 05 41