Thursday, October 24, 2013

Planck Deep Space Telescope Retired

Launched in 2009 and instrumental in determining the true age of the universe, which was 80 million years older that scientists had estimated,  the Planck telescope is being retired.  

Planck  spent all of it's working life in deep space behind a super cooled detector, which, along with it's sister scope the Herschel Space Observatory, its primary function was to study some of the most ancient photons thought to have been created at the time of the big bang.  

Herschel went offline in April of this year, but Planck continued on until its supply of liquid helium coolant expired, at which time the scientists operating Planck agreed that the scope had reached the end of its operational life.  

Planck will now be moved into a parking orbit around the sun.    The the final deactivation command was sent to Planck on 23 October 2013.

To read more:  Gizmodo  and The Wikipedia

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