To infinity and beyond – ROTAREX technology aides Planck satellite


Surveying the microwave sky, the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Planck satellite recently obtained its very first images of galaxy clusters, having had a helping hand from ROTAREX during the satellite’s infancy.

September 2010 saw the ESA announce that Planck had obtained its first images of galaxy clusters, amongst the largest objects in the Universe, by means of the Sunyaev-Zel’dovich effect – a characteristic signature they imprint on the Cosmic Microwave Background.

Planck is situated in orbit on one of the points of Lagrange, an orbital configuration in space, at a distance of 1.5 million kilometers from the Earth. The ESA’s Planck mission maps the sky in nine frequencies using two state-of-the-art instruments, designed to produce high-sensitivity, multi-frequency measurements of the diffuse sky radiation.

The first Planck all-sky survey began in mid-August 2009 and was completed in June 2010. Planck will continue to gather data until the end of 2011, during which time it will complete more than four all-sky scans.

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