French debut for Planck Dome exposition
2 December 2008An exposition entitled "Planck - Looking back to the dawn of time" was one of the featured exhibits at La Ville Européenne des Science held at the Grand Palais, Paris from 14-16 November 2008.
Celebrating science research across Europe La Ville Européenne des Sciences aimed to bridge the gap between the science community and society. The exhibition was free to enter and open to all, including families and school students. Visitors were able to interact with accessible exhibits created by universities, associations, businesses and research organisations. There were opportunities for visitors to converse with scientists and find out how science research has a profound impact on their daily lives.
The Planck exhibit, entitled Planck – Looking back to the dawn of time, comprised a 10m diameter portable planetarium and featured a 1/4-scale model of the Planck satellite, illustrative hardware pieces, interactive games, and informative poster panels all devoted to explaining the Planck mission – ESA’s satellite dedicated to mapping the Cosmic Microwave Background.
During the 3 day event an estimated 6000 people passed through the Dome and availed of the opportunity to learn more about the mission which is due to launch in 2009.
A number of panels, explaining various aspects of the project, were placed outside of the dome, alongside computers running interactive games and a large model of the Ariane-5 rocket.
Inside the dome a quarter-scale moving model of the spacecraft took centre stage. The rotating model demonstrated how the surveying satellite will scan the sky gathering information about the very origins of the Universe. In tandem, a high-tech simulation of the Cosmic Microwave Background was projected onto the dome illustrating what the anticipated Planck sky map will look like.
Visitors were also treated to a 5 minute planetarium-type show, running 4 times an hour. In between the shows Planck scientists were available to talk to the visitors, to explain the project, the work of scientists and engineers, and to share their enthusiasm for science.
Planck – Looking back to the dawn of time is an initiative of François Bouchet, on behalf of HFI France. It was made possible with the support of CNES, CNRS, ESA and Thales.
Enquiries about the exposition can be directed to:contacts-resaplanck.fr