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Planck Legacy Archive: 2015 data delivery is complete

10 August 2015

ESA's Planck mission has achieved a significant milestone. The 2015 data delivery to the Planck Legacy Archive, which hosts the mission products, is now complete. The new version of the archive comprises a full record of the data and results from the mission

"Whilst this signifies the end of Planck's 2015 data delivery, it is by no means the end for what Planck has to offer," explains Jan Tauber, ESA's Planck project scientist. "The archive, now complete, is a treasure trove for the astronomy community and I have no doubt we will see it glean many important new results in research areas across many diverse fields in astronomy".

Since it began operations in 2009 a wealth of resources have gradually been made available from the Planck mission – but now, for the first time, the mission archive contains all the data acquired by Planck. This includes: all-sky maps of intensity at all of the nine Planck frequency channels, with all-sky polarisation maps for seven of the frequencies; all-sky cosmic microwave background temperature maps; a plethora of maps detailing different foreground emissions, extensive catalogues of compact sources, Sunyaev-Zeldovich detections and Galactic cold clumps; and much more.

The latest additions for the 2015 data release include the newest Catalogue of Compact Sources and polarised maps at frequencies between 100 and 217 GHz.

Although the archive is now complete in terms of data products, mission experts are continuing to improve the calibration of Planck data and a new release – with improved calibration – is expected in 2016.

A more in-depth description of the contents of the Planck Legacy Archive is provided in this background article, and the archive itself can be found online.

Background Information

Launched in 2009, Planck was designed to map the sky in nine frequencies using two state-of-the-art instruments: the Low Frequency Instrument, which includes three frequency bands in the range 30–70 GHz, and the High Frequency Instrument, which includes six frequency bands in the range 100–857 GHz. HFI completed its survey in January 2012, while LFI continued to make science observations until 3 October 2013, before being switched off on 19 October 2013.

The Legacy of Planck is the subject of a focus meeting, to be held 11-13 August during the International Astronomical Union General Assembly, taking place in Honolulu, Hawaii.


Jan Tauber
ESA Planck Project Scientist
Scientific Support Office
Directorate of Science and Robotic Exploration
ESA, The Netherlands
Tel: +31 71 565 5342

Last Update: 10 August 2015

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