Field of Science

Planck is Alive

Planck Status: Routine Operations (First All-Sky Survey)
Location: in orbit around L2

The Planck satellite after its successful launch a few months ago has first light! I am busy observing at APO (read waiting for the weather to clear) so I don't have time to write more, but I just wanted to drop this news as it breaks.


  1. Planck is going to be an awesome experiment. If we could find two things I would really be happy: BB polarizations due to gravity waves/inflation and a detection of primordial non-Gaussianity.

    The first confirms (yet again) inflation happened but the second reveals it was due to more that the simple single field slow roll model.

  2. Planck is in a strange place (physically and scientifically) because it is in space, but it doesn't have the best available technology to observe polarization. The development cycle for space satellites is so long that by the time the technology is tested for space newer technology is already available for ground based (or balloon) observatories. It will be interesting to see if there are polarizations and what observatories can see them first.


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