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The Planck mission

The Planck mission

Publication date: 01 January 2001

Authors: Tauber, J.A.

Journal: The Extragalactic Infrared Background and its Cosmological Implications, Proceedings of IAU Symposium no. 204
Page: p. 493
Year: 2001

Planck is the third Medium-Sized Mission (M3) of ESA's Horizon 2000 Scientific Programme. It is designed to image the anisotropies of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) over the whole sky, with unprecedented sensitivity (DeltaT/T ~ 2 x 10-6) and angular resolution (better than 10 arcminutes). Planck will provide a major source of information relevant to several cosmological and astrophysical issues, such as testing theories of the early universe and the origin of cosmic structure. The ability to measure to high accuracy the angular power spectrum of the CMB fluctuations will allow the determination of fundamental cosmological parameters such as the density parameter (Omega0) and the Hubble constant H0, with an uncertainty of order a few percent. In addition to the main cosmological goals of the mission, the Planck sky survey will be used to study in detail the very sources of emission which "contaminate" the signal due to the CMB, and will result in a wealth of information on the properties of extragalactic sources, and on the dust and gas in our own galaxy. One specific notable result will be the measurement of the Sunyaev-Zeldovich effect in many thousands of galaxy clusters. We will present an overview of the Planck mission, its scientific objectives, the key elements of its technical design, and its current status.

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