Field of Science

Planck... not plank

Not only is 'Planck' the name of a famous physicist (Max Planck) who was one of the founders of 'Quantum theory'. He also has a constant named after him, the 'Planck constant (h)', which is used in the Planck-Einstein equation (E = hv) to show the relationship between energy and frequency.

Also, the name Planck is also given to the infra-red telescope that was launched in 2009 to look for evidence of how the universe first appeared after the 'big bang'. This is what I'm referring too and was purely using my knowledge of all things 'Planck' at the beginning to make my self 'look good'.

So why am I mentioning it? Yesterday it was reported by the BBC that it detected a 'previously invisible' population of galaxies 12 billion light years away! (So...pretty far away!). This means the picture of the universe has increased and we are seeing more and more 'stuff' in our universe. This however is only a hint at what this telescope can do.. and it's only been up there for just over a year and a half! So who knows what else it will discover in the new future!

The sky (mainly the milky way) as seen by Planck taken from
Also today, Sloan has shown a remarkable image of detail of some distant galaxies in the universe and has already discovered 1/2 billion stars and galaxies. The image is the largest ever coloured image of the whole sky to date, made out of 7 million images - each of125 million pixels. (This would require 500,000 HD televisions to view) Now that's a SUPER HD picture of the universe!!


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