Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Herschel & Planck satellites ready to go

Herschel will reveal the young universe in new detail (Image: ESA)

Herschel, the monster space telescope, will position itself in an extended orbit (1.5Mn Km) on the other side of the Earth from the Sun (L2, Le Grange point). It will use the Earth as a shield to protect it from the Sun's local radiation. Its mission is to reveal the young universe in new detail.

Whereas the Planck satellite will take up a similar orbit at the L2, Le Grange point and start to record the background radiation left after the Big Bang. (Image: ESA)

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