Tue, July 06, 2010
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Images of the Universe

2010-07-06 05:51:33 GMT2010-07-06 13:51:33 (Beijing Time)  SINA.com

The European Space Agency delivers the first images from the Planck satellite mission. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.

The European Space Agency delivers the first images from the Planck satellite mission.

The images not only provide new insight into the way stars and galaxies are formed but could also could help to tell how the Universe came to life after the Big Bang.

Planck project scientist Jan Tauber

"This is the satellite Planck which is turning around more or less once every minute. This animation is very much speeded up of course. As it turns, the telescope is sweeping a ring around the sky and as the satellite itself goes around its orbit, around the sun, this ring is sweeping different parts of the sky. After a certain amount of time, the whole sky has been covered. This is the way that Planck essentially makes a picture of the whole sky."

The all-sky Planck image creates an image from closest portions of the Milky Way to the furthest reaches of space and time.

The satellite was launched in French Guiana in May 2009.

Astronomers are hoping for answers to one of the most important questions in modern science: How was the universe created?

The mission will end in 2012.

Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters

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