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Planck is ESA's mission to observe the first light in the Universe. Planck was selected in 1995 as the third Medium-Sized Mission (M3) of ESA's Horizon 2000 Scientific Programme, and later became part of its Cosmic Vision Programme. It was designed to image the temperature and polarization anisotropies of the Cosmic Background Radiation Field over the whole sky, with unprecedented sensitivity and angular resolution. Planck is testing theories of the early universe and the origin of cosmic structure and providing a major source of information relevant to many cosmological and astrophysical issues. The scientific development of the mission is directed by the Planck Science Team.

Planck was formerly called COBRAS/SAMBA. After the mission was selected and approved (in late 1996), it was renamed in honor of the German scientist Max Planck (1858-1947), Nobel Prize for Physics in 1918.


Planck was launched on 14 May 2009, and the minimum requirement for success was for the spacecraft to complete two whole surveys of the sky. In the end, Planck worked perfectly for 30 months, about twice the span originally required, and completed five full-sky surveys with both instruments. Able to work at slightly higher temperatures than HFI, the Low Frequency Instrument (LFI) continued to survey the sky for a large part of 2013, providing even more data to improve the Planck final results. Read full story. Planck was turned off on 23 October 2013. The high-quality data the mission has produced will continue to be scientifically explored in the years to come.

More information on Planck may be accessed via the links to the left and right (some of the links are restricted).
Please note that these pages are largely directed to the astronomical and Planck communities.

Other Planck pages under ESA's Main Planck Portal and Sci-Tech Planck Portal are more specifically directed to the public and the press.


Latest Planck Collaboration papers

Title Authors Publication
A Joint Analysis of BICEP2/Keck Array and Planck Data BICEP2/Keck and Planck Collaborations 2015, Phys. Rev. Lett. 114, 101301
Planck 2015 release publications Planck Collaboration 2015 Submitted to A&A
Planck intermediate results. XLIII. The spectral energy distribution of dust in clusters of galaxies Planck Collaboration 2016 Submitted to A&A
Planck intermediate results. XLIV. The structure of the Galactic magnetic field from dust polarization maps of the southern Galactic cap Planck Collaboration 2016 Submitted to A&A
Planck intermediate results. XLVI. Reduction of large-scale systematic effects in HFI polarization maps and estimation of the reionization optical depth Planck Collaboration 2016 Submitted to A&A
Planck intermediate results. XLVII. Constraints on reionization history Planck Collaboration 2016 Submitted to A&A




Need help ? If you are a member of the Planck Collaboration, with access to restricted areas of Planck pages, and are having problems using these facilities, you can ask for help by sending an email to SRE Helpdesk putting "Planck" in the subject field. Also note that: (a) logging in via the Cosmos portal - via Sign In in the top right corner - solves most access problems; (b) if you have problems with your password, first try the automated password reset facility via this link.


Mission status: Planck stopped operations on 23 October 2013.

Latest News

  • Constraints on reionization history and optical depth: The Planck Collaboration has submitted to A&A two articles describing the improved polarization data of HFI on large angular scales, a new value of the reionization optical depth, and new fits to Lambda-CMB models with various parametrizations of the reionization history.

  • Once again we have the sad task to communicate the passing away of a key member of the Planck Collaboration. Richard Davis led the development of some of the LFI's front-end amplifiers, and has been intimately involved in Planck from its earliest days. We will miss Richard deeply.

  • We are very sad to have to communicate that Rod Davies, long-standing and key member of the Planck Collaboration, and close friend and colleague, has passed away a few days ago. Our deepest sympathy goes to his family and friends.

  • A new set of CMB, noise and sky simulated maps have been published in the PLA completing the release of the 2015 full mission products and accompanying data (PR2).

  • We are happy to announce that the 2015 AIAA Space Systems Award has been conferred to the Herschel and Planck Project Team for "outstanding scientific achievements recognized by the worldwide scientific community and for the outstanding technical performances of the two satellites". See the announcement.

  • The Second Planck Catalogue of Compact Sources has been produced analyzing the Planck full mission maps in total intensity and polarization and is available in the PLA. Read the story.

  • The Diffuse Galactic Foregrounds between 20 and 100 GHz: the Planck Collaboration presents the highest S/N all-sky maps of the polarized synchrotron emission, anomalous microwave emission and free-free to date. Download the paper.

  • An Analysis by the Planck Collaboration of the Isotropy and Statistics of the 2015 Planck CMB maps has been submitted to Astronomy & Astrophysics. Download the paper.

  • Edison-Volta Prize: we are pleased to announce that Reno Mandolesi, Jean-Loup Puget, and Jan Tauber have been awarded the 2015 Edison-Volta Prize by the European Physical Society, the Centro di Cultura Scientifica Alessandro Volta and Edison S.p.A.. Read the story.

  • Results of a joint analysis of BICEP2/Keck and Planck data: a joint analysis of data from ESA's Planck satellite and the ground-based BICEP2 and Keck Array experiments has found no conclusive evidence of primordial gravitational waves. Read the story. Download the paper.

  • The magnetic field structure in the Rosette Nebula: The Planck Collaboration presents the first joint analysis and modelling of radio and submillimetre polarization observations towards a massive star forming region to study its 3-dimensional magnetic field geometry. Click to know more.

  • Planck Legacy Archive: A new interface to the Planck Legacy Archive is available since December 2nd 2014. The Java interface was disabled on the same date. Click to know more.

  • Signature of the magnetic field geometry of interstellar filaments in dust polarization maps: Planck observations at 353GHz provide the first fully-sampled maps of the polarized dust emission of interstellar filaments, offering unprecedented information on the structure of the magnetic field. Click to know more.

  • Planck special feature: Astronomy & Astrophysics is publishing a special feature of 31 articles describing the data gathered by Planck over 15 months of observations and released by ESA and the Planck Collaboration in March 2013. This series of papers presents the initial scientific results extracted from this first Planck dataset. Click to know more.

  • Le Prix La Recherche 2014: The french magazine La Recherche announced this year astrophysics prize is awarded to the Planck article on gravitational lensing by large-scale structure, for the first full sky reconstruction of the CMB lensing effect. Click to know more.

  • 2014 IPMA Awards: Thales Alenia Space received Gold Medal at the 2014 IPMA Awards for the management of the prestigious space science program Herschel-Planck. Click to know more.

  • Awards: We are pleased to announce that the Principal Investigator of Planck/LFI, Dr. Nazzareno Mandolesi, has been presented the Amaldi medal by SIGRAV on 15 September 2014, more info, and that the Principal Investigator of Planck/HFI, Dr. Jean-Loup Puget, has been presented by COSPAR on 4 August with the 2014 Space Science Award more info.