Visual Science: Polishing a Cosmic Spyglass

A tune-up for one of the most sophisticated imaging devices ever made

Nov 2, 2009 6:00 AMNov 12, 2019 5:52 AM
Image courtesy of ESA


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

THE MOMENT: The European Space Agency’s Planck spacecraft gets a thorough cleaning—including vacuuming and an ultraviolet inspection to check for dust particles—near Kourou, French Guiana, before its launch last May 14. In August the craft’s telescope and detectors began the most detailed study ever made of the cosmic microwave background radiation, the remnant energy from the Big Bang. First results should come out next year. Planck will also hunt for gravitational waves and will help astronomers investigate dark matter, dark energy, and the expansion of the early universe.

THE SHOT: Photo by ESA using a Nikon D300 camera, f/4.0, ISO 3200.

1 free article left
Want More? Get unlimited access for as low as $1.99/month

Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

1 free articleSubscribe
Discover Magazine Logo
Want more?

Keep reading for as low as $1.99!


Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

To The Magazine

Save up to 40% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2024 Kalmbach Media Co.