Publication archive

Publication archive

The data reported in Planck's Early Release Compact Source Catalogue (ERCSC) are exploited to measure the number counts (dN/dS) of extragalactic radio sources at 30, 44, 70, 100, 143 and 217 GHz. Due to the full-sky nature of the catalogue, this measurement extends to the rarest and brightest sources in the sky. At lower frequencies (30, 44, and 70 GHz) our counts are in very good agreement with estimates based on WMAP data, being somewhat deeper at 30 and 70 GHz, and somewhat shallower at 44 GHz. Planck's source counts at 143 and 217 GHz join smoothly with the fainter ones provided by the SPT and ACT surveys over small fractions of the sky. An analysis of source spectra, exploiting Planck's uniquely broad spectral coverage, finds clear evidence of a steepening of the mean spectral index above about 70 GHz. This implies that, at these frequencies, the contamination of the CMB power spectrum by radio sources below the detection limit is significantly lower than previously estimated.
Published: 01 December 2011
We present the Sunyaev-Zeldovich (SZ) signal-to-richness scaling relation (Y500 - N200) for the MaxBCG cluster catalogue. Employing a multi-frequency matched filter on the Planck sky maps, we measure the SZ signal for each cluster by adapting the filter according to weak-lensing calibrated mass-richness relations (N200 - M500). We bin our individual measurements and detect the SZ signal down to the lowest richness systems (N200 = 10) with high significance, achieving a detection of the SZ signal in systems with mass as low as M500 H 5 × 1013 Mo. The observed Y500 - N200 relation is well modeled by a power law over the full richness range. It has a lower normalisation at given N200 than predicted based on X-ray models and published mass-richness relations. An X-ray subsample, however, does conform to the predicted scaling, and model predictions do reproduce the relation between our measured bin-average SZ signal and measured bin-average X-ray luminosities. At fixed richness, we find an intrinsic dispersion in the Y500 - N200 relation of 60% rising to of order 100% at low richness. Thanks to its all-sky coverage, Planck provides observations for more than 13000 MaxBCG clusters and an unprecedented SZ/optical data set, extending the list of known cluster scaling laws to include SZ-optical properties. The data set offers essential clues for models of galaxy formation. Moreover, the lower normalisation of the SZ-mass relation implied by the observed SZ-richness scaling has important consequences for cluster physics and cosmological studies with SZ clusters.
Published: 01 December 2011
We present precise Sunyaev-Zeldovich (SZ) effect measurements in the direction of 62 nearby galaxy clusters (z <0.5) detected at high signal-to-noise in the first Planck all-sky dataset. The sample spans approximately a decade in total mass, 2 x 1014 Mo< M500<2 x 1015 Mo, where M500 is the mass corresponding to a total density contrast of 500. Combining these high quality Planck measurements with deep XMM-Newton X-ray data, we investigate the relations between DA2 Y500, the integrated Compton parameter due to the SZ effect, and the X-ray-derived gas mass Mg,500, temperature TX, luminosity LX,500, SZ signal analogue YX,500 = Mg,500 x TX, and total mass M500. After correction for the effect of selection bias on the scaling relations, we find results that are in excellent agreement with both X-ray predictions and recently-published ground-based data derived from smaller samples. The present data yield an exceptionally robust, high-quality local reference, and illustrate Planck's unique capabilities for all-sky statistical studies of galaxy clusters.
Published: 01 December 2011
We present the first all-sky sample of galaxy clusters detected blindly by the Planck satellite through the Sunyaev-Zeldovich (SZ) effect from its six highest frequencies. This early SZ (ESZ) sample is comprised of 189 candidates, which have a high signal-to-noise ratio ranging from 6 to 29. Its high reliability (purity above 95%) is further ensured by an extensive validation process based on Planck internal quality assessments and by external cross-identification and follow-up observations. Planck provides the first measured SZ signal for about 80% of the 169 previously-known ESZ clusters. Planck furthermore releases 30 new cluster candidates, amongst which 20 meet the ESZ signal-to-noise selection criterion. At the submission date, twelve of the 20 ESZ candidates were confirmed as new clusters, with eleven confirmed using XMM-Newton snapshot observations, most of them with disturbed morphologies and low luminosities. The ESZ clusters are mostly at moderate redshifts (86% with z below 0.3) and span more than a decade in mass, up to the rarest and most massive clusters with masses above 1 × 1015 Mo.
Published: 01 December 2011

A brief description of the methodology of construction, contents and usage of the Planck Early Release Compact Source Catalogue (ERCSC), including the Early Cold Cores (ECC) and the Early Sunyaev-Zeldovich (ESZ) cluster catalogue is provided. The catalogue is based on data that consist of mapping the entire sky once and 60% of the sky a second time by Planck, thereby comprising the first high sensitivity radio/submillimetre observations of the entire sky. A Monte-Carlo algorithm based on the injection and extraction of artificial sources into the Planck maps was implemented to select reliable sources among all extracted candidates such that the cumulative reliability of the catalogue is >=90%. The 10sigma photometric flux density limit of the catalogue at |b|>30 deg is 0.49, 1.0, 0.67, 0.5, 0.33, 0.28, 0.25, 0.47 and 0.82 Jy at each of the nine frequencies between 30 and 857 GHz. Sources which are up to a factor of ~2 fainter than this limit, and which are present in "clean" regions of the Galaxy where the sky background due to emission from the interstellar medium is low, are included in the ERCSC if they meet the high reliability criterion. The Planck ERCSC sources have known associations to stars with dust shells, stellar cores, radio galaxies, blazars, infrared luminous galaxies and Galactic interstellar medium features. A significant fraction of unclassified sources are also present in the catalogs. In addition, two early release catalogs that contain 915 cold molecular cloud core candidates and 189 SZ cluster candidates that have been generated using multi-frequency algorithms are presented. The entire source list, with more than 15000 unique sources, is ripe for follow-up characterisation with Herschel, ATCA, VLA, SOFIA, ALMA and other ground-based observing facilities.

Published: 01 December 2011
We describe the processing of the 336 billion raw data samples from the High Frequency Instrument (HFI) which we performed to produce six temperature maps from the first 295 days of Planck-HFI survey data. These maps provide an accurate rendition of the sky emission at 100, 143, 217, 353, 545 and 857 GHz with an angular resolution ranging from 9.9 to 4.4'. The white noise level is around 1.5 microK degree or less in the 3 main CMB channels (100-217 GHz). The photometric accuracy is better than 2% at frequencies between 100 and 353 GHz and around 7% at the two highest frequencies. The maps created by the HFI Data Processing Centre reach our goals in terms of sensitivity, resolution, and photometric accuracy. They are already sufficiently accurate and well-characterised to allow scientific analyses which are presented in an accompanying series of early papers. At this stage, HFI data appears to be of high quality and we expect that with further refinements of the data processing we should be able to achieve, or exceed, the science goals of the Planck project.
Published: 01 December 2011
We describe the processing of data from the Low Frequency Instrument (LFI) used in production of the Planck Early Release Compact Source Catalogue (ERCSC). In particular, we discuss the steps involved in reducing the data from telemetry packets to cleaned, calibrated, time-ordered data (TOD) and frequency maps. Data are continuously calibrated using the modulation of the temperature of the cosmic microwave background radiation induced by the motion of the spacecraft. Noise properties are estimated from TOD from which the sky signal has been removed using a generalized least square map-making algorithm. Measured 1/f noise knee-frequencies range from ~100 mHz at 30 GHz to a few tens of mHz at 70GHz. A destriping code (Madam) is employed to combine radiometric data and pointing information into sky maps, minimizing the variance of correlated noise. Noise covariance matrices required to compute statistical uncertainties on LFI and Planck products are also produced. Main beams are estimated down to the ~ -10dB level using Jupiter transits, which are also used for geometrical calibration of the focal plane.
Published: 01 December 2011
The Planck High Frequency Instrument (HFI) is designed to measure the temperature and polarization anisotropies of the cosmic microwave background and Galactic foregrounds in six ~30% bands centered at 100, 143, 217, 353, 545, and 857 GHz at an angular resolution of 10' (100 GHz), 7' (143 GHz), and 5' (217 GHz and higher). HFI has been operating flawlessly since launch on 14 May 2009, with the bolometers reaching 100 mK the first week of July. The settings of the readout electronics, including bolometer bias currents, that optimize HFI's noise performance on orbit are nearly the same as the ones chosen during ground testing. Observations of Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn have confirmed that the optical beams and the time responses of the detection chains are in good agreement with the predictions of physical optics modeling and pre-launch measurements. The Detectors suffer from a high flux of cosmic rays due to historically low levels of solar activity. As a result of the redundancy of Planck's observation strategy, theremoval of a few percent of data contaminated by glitches does not significantly affect the instrumental sensitivity. The cosmic ray flux represents a significant and variable heat load on the sub-Kelvin stage. Temporal variation and the inhomogeneous distribution of the flux results in thermal fluctuations that are a probable source of low frequency noise. The removal of systematic effects in the time ordered data provides a signal with an average noise equivalent power that is 70% of the goal in the 0.6-2.5 Hz range. This is slightly higher than was achieved during the pre-launch characterization but better than predicted in the early phases of the project. The improvement over the goal is a result of the low level of instrumental background loading achieved by the optical and thermal design of the HFI.
Published: 01 December 2011
The scientific performance of the Planck Low Frequency Instrument (LFI) after one year of in-orbit operation is presented. We describe the main optical parameters and discuss photometric calibration, white noise sensitivity, and noise properties. A preliminary evaluation of the impact of the main systematic effects is presented. For each of the performance parameters, we outline the methods used to obtain them from the flight data and provide a comparison with pre-launch ground assessments, which are essentially confirmed in flight.
Published: 01 December 2011
The performance of the Planck instruments in space is enabled by their low operating temperatures, 20 K for LFI and 0.1 K for HFI, achieved through a combination of passive radiative cooling and three active mechanical coolers. The scientific requirement for very broad frequency coverage led to two detector technologies with widely different temperature and cooling needs. Active coolers could satisfy these needs; a helium cryostat, as used by previous cryogenic space missions (IRAS, COBE, ISO, Spitzer, AKARI), could not. Radiative cooling is provided by three V-groove radiators and a large telescope baffle. The active coolers are a hydrogen sorption cooler (<20 K), a 4He Joule-Thomson cooler (4.7 K), and a 3He-4He dilution cooler (1.4 K and 0.1 K). The flight system was at ambient temperature at launch and cooled in space to operating conditions. The HFI bolometer plate reached 93 mK on 3 July 2009, 50 days after launch. The solar panel always faces the Sun, shadowing the rest of Planck, andoperates at a mean temperature of 384 K. At the other end of the spacecraft, the telescope baffle operates at 42.3 K and the telescope primary mirror operates at 35.9 K. The temperatures of key parts of the instruments are stabilized by both active and passive methods. Temperature fluctuations are driven by changes in the distance from the Sun, sorption cooler cycling and fluctuations in gas-liquid flow, and fluctuations in cosmic ray flux on the dilution and bolometer plates. These fluctuations do not compromise the science data.
Published: 01 December 2011

The European Space Agency's Planck satellite was launched on 14 May 2009, and has been surveying the sky stably and continuously since 13 August 2009. Its performance is well in line with expectations, and it will continue to gather scientific data until the end of its cryogenic lifetime. We give an overview of the history of Planck in its first year of operations, and describe some of the key performance aspects of the satellite. This paper is part of a package submitted in conjunction with Planck's Early Release Compact Source Catalogue, the first data product based on Planck to be released publicly. The package describes the scientific performance of the Planck payload, and presents results on a variety of astrophysical topics related to the sources included in the Catalogue, as well as selected topics on diffuse emission.

Published: 01 December 2011
The hierarchical approach to predicting quasi-stationary, high-speed solar wind (SW) streams is described. This approach integrates various types of data into a single forecasting system by means of an ensemble of experts. The input data included the daily values of the coronal hole areas, which were calculated from the ultraviolet images of the Sun, and the speed of the SW streams during the previous solar rotations. The coronal hole areas were calculated from the images taken by the SWAP instrument aboard the PROBA2 satellite in the spectral interval centered at a wavelength of 17.4 nm and by the AIA instrument aboard the SDO spacecraft in the interval of wavelengths centered at 19.3 and 17.1 nm. The forecast was based on the data for 2010, corresponding to the rising phase of the 24th solar cycle. On the first hierarchical level, a few simple model estimates were obtained for the speed of the SW streams from the input data of each type. On the second level of hierarchy, the final 3 day ahead forecast of the SW velocity was formulated on the basis of the obtained estimates. The proposed hierarchical approach improves the accuracy of forecasting the SW velocity. In addition, in such a method of prediction, the data gaps in the records of one instrument do not crucially affect the final result of forecasting of the system as a whole.
Published: 01 December 2011
The nebula powered by the Vela pulsar is one of the best examples of an evolved pulsar wind nebula, allowing access to the particle injection history and the interaction with the supernova ejecta. We report on the INTEGRAL discovery of extended emission above 18 keV from the Vela nebula. The northern side has no known counterparts and it appears larger and more significant than the southern one, which is in turn partially coincident with the cocoon, the soft X-ray, and TeV filament toward the center of the remnant. We also present the spectrum of the Vela nebula in the 18-400 keV energy range as measured by IBIS/ISGRI and SPI on board the INTEGRAL satellite. The apparent discrepancy between IBIS/ISGRI, SPI, and previous measurements is understood in terms of the point-spread function, supporting the hypothesis of a nebula more diffuse than previously thought. A break at ~25 keV is found in the spectrum within 6' from the pulsar after including the Suzaku XIS data. Interpreted as a cooling break, this points out that the inner nebula is composed of electrons injected in the last ~2000 years. Broadband modeling also implies a magnetic field higher than 10 mG in this region. Finally, we discuss the nature of the northern emission, which might be due to fresh particles injected after the passage of the reverse shock.
Published: 21 November 2011
Shock waves are ubiquitous in space and astrophysics. They transform directed flow energy into thermal energy and accelerate energetic particles. The energy repartition is a multiscale process related to the spatial and temporal structure of the electromagnetic fields within the shock layer. While large scale features of ion heating are known, the electron heating and smaller scale fields remain poorly understood. We determine for the first time the scale of the electron temperature gradient via electron distributions measured in situ by the Cluster spacecraft. Half of the electron heating coincides with a narrow layer several electron inertial lengths (c/omega_pe) thick. Consequently, the nonlinear steepening is limited by wave dispersion. The dc electric field must also vary over these small scales, strongly influencing the efficiency of shocks as cosmic ray accelerators.
Published: 18 November 2011
Without a source of new gas, our Galaxy would exhaust its supply of gas through the formation of stars. Ionized gas clouds observed at high velocity may be a reservoir of such gas, but their distances are key for placing them in the galactic halo and unraveling their role. We have used the Hubble Space Telescope to blindly search for ionized high-velocity clouds (iHVCs) in the foreground of galactic stars. We show that iHVCs with 90 < |vLSR| <~ 170 kilometers per second (where vLSR is the velocity in the local standard of rest frame) are within one galactic radius of the Sun and have enough mass to maintain star formation, whereas iHVCs with |vLSR| >~ 170 kilometers per second are at larger distances. These may be the next wave of infalling material.
Published: 18 November 2011
Outflowing winds of multiphase plasma have been proposed to regulate the buildup of galaxies, but key aspects of these outflows have not been probed with observations. By using ultraviolet absorption spectroscopy, we show that 'warm-hot' plasma at 105.5 Kelvin contains 10 to 150 times more mass than the cold gas in a post-starburst galaxy wind. This wind extends to distances > 68 kiloparsecs, and at least some portion of it will escape. Moreover, the kinematical correlation of the cold and warm-hot phases indicates that the warm-hot plasma is related to the interaction of the cold matter with a hotter (unseen) phase at >>106 Kelvin. Such multiphase winds can remove substantial masses and alter the evolution of post-starburst galaxies.
Published: 18 November 2011
The circumgalactic medium (CGM) is fed by galaxy outflows and accretion of intergalactic gas, but its mass, heavy element enrichment, and relation to galaxy properties are poorly constrained by observations. In a survey of the outskirts of 42 galaxies with the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph onboard the Hubble Space Telescope, we detected ubiquitous, large (150-kiloparsec) halos of ionized oxygen surrounding star-forming galaxies; we found much less ionized oxygen around galaxies with little or no star formation. This ionized CGM contains a substantial mass of heavy elements and gas, perhaps far exceeding the reservoirs of gas in the galaxies themselves. Our data indicate that it is a basic component of nearly all star-forming galaxies that is removed or transformed during the quenching of star formation and the transition to passive evolution.
Published: 18 November 2011
We present Cassini magnetic field observations from the only two close flybys (16DI and 129DI) of Saturn's icy satellite Dione which have been carried out so far. Data from 16DI show a weak field perturbation in the upstream region, indicative of a tenuous atmosphere around the satellite. By applying an analytical model of the perturbations caused by subalfvénic atmosphere-magnetosphere interactions, we demonstrate that an atmospheric column density of approximately 1x1017 m-2 would be able to sustain the observed field signature. Magnetic field data from 16DI also contain hints that Dione's gas envelope might possess a slight asymmetry between the Saturn-facing and the Saturn-averted hemisphere. The detection of a thin atmosphere at Dione might be correlated to the occurrence of a transient radiation belt near the moon's L-shell at the time of the 16DI flyby, as reported by Roussos et al. (2008b). On the other hand, magnetic field observations from the subsequent downstream encounter 129DI show no clear evidence of an atmosphere, probably due to the flyby trajectory being unsuitable for the detection of the associated perturbations.
Published: 13 August 2011
Summary of the study performed at ESA's Concurrent Design Facility (CDF) into the M-class candidate mission MarcoPolo-R.
Published: 08 November 2011
Presentation of the preliminary mission design for MarcoPolo-R, based on the mission study performed at ESA's Concurrent Design Facility (CDF) in October and November 2011. This document has been superseded by the MarcoPolo-R CDF study - External Final Presentation.
Published: 07 November 2011
15-Jul-2020 09:53 UT

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