January 13, 2011 by staff 

Ophiuchus, Major structures of the universe, galaxy clusters, interstellar gas and dust have delivered some of their secrets to the European Planck satellite.

Launched in 2009 to map the cosmic microwave background, the Planck satellite has observed the entire celestial sphere in the wavelength millimeter and submillimeter. Meanwhile its high-precision map of “First Light of the Universe” in 2013, he revealed valuable information about the stars located in the foreground.

The origin of the mysterious “anomalous microwave emission”, discovered in the 1990s, is explained. The excess radiation observed between 10 and 60 GHz frequency is due to interstellar grains from 10 to 50 atoms spinning fast – up to 10 billion times per second. This issue (below in red) is notably observed in the interstellar cloud Rho Ophiuchus.
More gas in the Galaxy
Planck was detected and measured a significant fraction of interstellar gas that escaped the observations so far. Up to half of the molecular hydrogen in the galaxy, likely located in the envelopes of interstellar clouds, and just being “discovered.”

The cosmic infrared background of the universe (consisting of the accumulated brilliance of all the galaxies forming stars, seen through the ages) has been mapped by Planck with unprecedented accuracy. The satellite has observed up to frequencies to which it had never been seen before, and with great precision. His actions draw a cosmic web that is now possible to see evolve over time, up to 11 billion years into the past (animation below).

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