Project leader: Hannu Kurki-Suonio

The Planck satellite is a European Space Agency (ESA) survey mission to measure the anisotropy and polarization of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation. Planck was launched on May 14th, 2009. The survey will be completed near end of 2010, after which there is a proprietary period of two years, for analyzing the data and deriving the scientific results of the mission. After that, the Planck data will be released to the public domain. ESA has now approved an extension of the survey by another year, to near the end of 2011, which corresponds to the expected lifetime of the satellite’s cooling systems.

The CMB is radiation from the early universe. It was emitted when the universe was about 400 000 years old. Its intensity and polarization varies over the sky, and these variations reflect the properties and structure of the early universe as well as the later history of the universe through which this radiation has traveled.

We develop data analysis methods, participate in analyzing the Planck data, and in preparing the scientific publications from Planck.