This blog post was written by Hiranya Peiris.

There was great excitement at EarlyUniverse@UCL this week due to the first cosmology data release from the Planck satellite! Andrew Jaffe has a nice technical guide to the  results here, and Phil Plait has a great, very accessible summary here.

The data and papers are publicly available, and you can explore Planck’s stunning maps of the fossil heat of the Big Bang – the cosmic microwave background (CMB) – on the wonderful Chromoscope.

Planck’s results bring us much closer to understanding the origin of structure in the universe, and its subsequent evolution. In the past few months, Jason McEwenAurélien Benoit-Lévy and I have been working extremely hard on the Planck analyses studying the implications of the data for a range of cosmological physics. Now we can finally talk publicly about this work, and in coming weeks we will be blogging about these topics; but in the meantime the technical papers are linked below!


The Planck results received wide media coverage, including the BBC, The Guardian, the Financial Times, the Economist, etc. But as a former part-time New Yorker, the most thrilling moment of the media circus for me was seeing Planck’s CMB map taking up most of the space above the fold, on the front page of the New York Times!

You can read more here:

Planck Collaboration (2013):

Planck 2013 results. XVI. Cosmological parameters

Planck 2013 results. XVII. Gravitational lensing by large-scale structure

Planck 2013 results. XXII. Constraints on inflation

Planck 2013 results. XXIII. Isotropy and Statistics of the CMB

Planck 2013 Results. XXIV. Constraints on primordial non-Gaussianity

Planck 2013 results. XXV. Searches for cosmic strings and other topological defects

Planck 2013 results. XXVI. Background geometry and topology of the Universe


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