Feeds

ESA hits scientists with hefty Planck

Celestial microwave data for your viewing pleasure

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Remote control for virtualized desktops

The European Space Agency has released the first scientific results from its Planck microwave observatory, representing "thousands of very cold, individual sources which the scientific community is now free to explore".

Among the goodies on offer is "evidence for an otherwise invisible population of galaxies shrouded in dust billions of years in the past".

ESA explains: "Visible-light telescopes see little more than the final act: the tapestry of galaxies around us. But by making measurements at wavelengths between the infrared and radio, Planck is able to work back in time and show us the preceding two acts.

"The results released today contain important new information about the middle act, when the galaxies were being assembled."

Eventually, Planck will turn its attention to the first act, "the formation of the first large-scale structures in the Universe, where the galaxies were later born", and evidenced by the "cosmic microwave background radiation, released just 380,000 years after the Big Bang, as the Universe was cooling".

Until the release of that survey data, scheduled for January 2013, astronomers will have to make do with browsing the "Early Release Compact Source Catalogue" of aforementioned cold sources.

David Southwood, ESA Director of Science and Robotic Exploration, enthused: "Today’s results are the tip of the scientific iceberg. Planck is exceeding expectations thanks to the dedication of everyone involved in the project.

“However, beyond those announced today, this catalogue contains the raw material for many more discoveries. Even then, we haven’t got to the real treasure yet, the cosmic microwave background itself.”

ESA has more on the data release here. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
MEN: For pity's sake SLEEP with LOTS of WOMEN - and avoid Prostate Cancer
And, um, don't sleep with other men. If that's what worries you
Voyager 1 now EIGHTEEN LIGHT HOURS from home
Almost 20 BEEELION kilometres from Sol
HUGE SHARK as big as a WWII SUBMARINE died out, allowing whales to exist
Who'd win a fight: Megalodon or a German battleship?
Jim Beam me up, Scotty! WHISKY from SPAAACE returns to Earth
They're insured for $1m, before you thirsty folks make plans
ROGUE SAIL BOAT blocks SPACE STATION PODULE blastoff
Er, we think our ISS launch beats your fishing expedition
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
BAE points electromagnetic projectile at US Army
Railguns for 'Future fighting vehicle'
LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved
Deinocheirus mirificus was a bit of a knuckle dragger
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.