Cosmic Background Radiation: PLANCK

Research in Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Chicago covers a broad range of topics, including the Sun and solar-like stars, cosmic rays, the chemical origin of meteorites and comets, interstellar matter, the birth of stars, the catastrophic death of massive stars and nucleosynthesis, high energy and relativistic astrophysics, the origins and dynamics of galaxies, and cosmology. Our faculty and staff engage in cutting-edge, forefront research projects in theoretical, experimental, and observational programs to understand the origin of the universe and the formation of structures on all scales. The Department maintains close research ties and partnership with the Argonne National Laboratory, Fermilab, and Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum. Planck was selected as the third Medium-Sized Mission (M3) of ESA’s Horizon 2000 Scientific Programme, and is today part of its Cosmic Vision Programme. It is designed to image the anisotropies of the Cosmic Background Radiation Field over the whole sky, with unprecedented sensitivity and angular resolution. Planck will provide a major source of information relevant to several cosmological and astrophysical issues, such as testing theories of the early universe and the origin of cosmic structure. The scientific development of the mission is directed by the Planck Science Team.

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