A multi-color all-sky image of the microwave sky.  Credit: ESA, HFI and LFI consortia

All-Sky Stunner from Planck

5 Jul , 2010 by

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After a year of observations, the Planck observatory team released an all-sky microwave image, and what a gorgeous image it is! The Planck satellite looks at the entire sky in the microwave region of the electromagnetic spectrum, (30 to 857 GHz) with the main goal of tracking down the echoes of the Big Bang, the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB.) This new image reveals the cosmic signal is literally hidden behind a fog of foreground emission, arising mostly from the interstellar medium (ISM), the diffuse mixture of gas and dust filling our Galaxy.

At the top and bottom of the image in the red and yellow marbled region is where the CMB is visible.

“By contrast, a good part of the sky is dominated by the Milky Way contribution, shining strongly along the Galactic Plane but also extending well above and below it, albeit at a very much lower intensity,” said Jan Tauber, Planck Project Scientist.

To produce this image, the Planck team combined data from the full frequency range of Planck. The main disc of our Galaxy runs across the center of the image, with streamers of cold dust reaching above and below the Milky Way. This galactic web is where new stars are being formed, and Planck has found many locations where individual stars are edging toward birth or just beginning their cycle of development.

To get your bearings of where everything is locatated, here is an annotated version.

Annotated version of the Planck all-sky image. Credit: ESA, HFI and LFI consortia.


“Planck has ‘painted’ us its first spectacular picture of the Universe,” said Dr. David Parker, Director of Space Science and Exploration for the UKSpace Agency. “This single image captures both our own cosmic backyard — the Milky Way galaxy that we live in — but also the subtle imprint of the Big Bang from which the whole Universe emerged. We’re proud to be supporting this great new discovery machine and look forward to our scientists unraveling the deeper meaning behind the beauty of this first image.”

And this is just the beginning of beautiful things from Planck!

Here’s another annotated version:

Planck all-sky annotated image. Credit: ESA, HFI and LFI consortia.

(Thanks to IVAN3MAN for suggesting to add this image.)

For more info see this ESA webpage, and the Planck website.



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Olaf
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Olaf
July 5, 2010 2:27 PM

Can you imagine that this pictures is actually a time-distorted image?

It would be interesting if they also could create a time undistorted image. The stars at the location as it would be if there exists no speed of light.

Kevin
Member
Kevin
July 5, 2010 3:50 PM

I wonder how far to galactic north or south we would have to send a probe to start to see around the galactic equator.

Lawrence B. Crowell
Member
Lawrence B. Crowell
July 5, 2010 5:44 PM

This looks good! There needs to be some signal processing done to remove the galactic microwave noise.

The big issue is whether B-modes can be found in the CMB. In the big bang at its earliest moments quantum gravity decoupled from the rest of the forces of nature and become classical. The gravitons were stretched into classical gravity waves which are now stretched to nearly the length of the cosmological horizon. These should have a footprint in the CMB. It is interesting to think that the CMB is a sort of gravity wave detector, and we are now trying to detect the reading of that detector.

LC

Aqua4U
Member
July 6, 2010 9:17 AM

@SteveZodiac – Are you suggesting overlaying deep optical imagery to compare the visible anisotropies in this image? I wonder if the resolution in the Planck data is high enough to do that? If so… bet its been done already.

Torbjorn Larsson OM
Member
Torbjorn Larsson OM
July 6, 2010 6:01 AM
Gravity waves, shmawity waves! I’m more interested in the cosmology which is its primary mission. So I’ll settle for a 3 sigma test of remaining standard cosmology parameters. Inflation needs to be verified as best as it can be, and more of the remaining plethora of big bang theories needs to be rejected. But therein lies a certain correlation of interest, since AFAIU chaotic inflation models may have gravity wave B-mode signatures: “Planck may also detect the B-mode polarization anisotropies, if tensor modes contribute at a level of a few percent or more of the amplitude of the scalar modes. The amplitude of the tensor component remains a free parameter of inflationary models of the early Universe, but… Read more »
Torbjorn Larsson OM
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Torbjorn Larsson OM
July 6, 2010 6:06 AM

Duh, I didn’t realize the quoting would be so extensive. Feel free to delete my previous comment if it is a nuisance.

Short version: Looking for B-modes looks good! (Learning of gravity waves is learning about essential physics of inflation.)

IVAN3MAN_AT_LARGE
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IVAN3MAN_AT_LARGE
July 6, 2010 8:17 AM

@Torbjörn Larsson OM,

Had too much coffee today, eh? wink

SteveZodiac
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SteveZodiac
July 6, 2010 8:38 AM

What if when they process our galaxy out the CMB just looks like more extremely distant galaxies? That would upset some apple carts.

Torbjorn Larsson OM
Member
Torbjorn Larsson OM
July 6, 2010 10:10 AM

IVAN3MAN_AT_LARGE, good guess! It’s a heat wave, so I’ve had too much liquid of just about everything but alcohol (too hot).

Lawrence B. Crowell
Member
Lawrence B. Crowell
July 6, 2010 2:59 PM

Torbjorn Larsson OM, Detecting B-modes is crucial. this will tell us much about inflationary cosmology and anisotropy. Further, these B-modes are CMB detection of an analogue of the CMB that involved gravitons. Prior to the inflationary period the universe was quantum gravity dominated. The decoupling of gravitons from the other fields and its transition to classical behavior is the source of these gravity waves. These B-modes are induced by huge gravity waves that were produced in a sort of black body radiation of gravitons.

LC

Aqua4U
Member
July 6, 2010 6:46 PM

This is only the first of four all-sky surveys the Planck will make… “This image is just a glimpse of what Planck will ultimately see,” says Jan Tauber, ESA’s Planck project scientist.”

So it looks like the resolution WILL eventually be high enough for optical comparisons? Hmm…

Torbjorn Larsson OM
Member
Torbjorn Larsson OM
July 7, 2010 12:50 PM

LBC, yes, well, as the Bluepaper says, can we probe through the big bang? If large field inflation is correct, there likely was no “prior” before the end of inflation.

While we can quantize gravity (lagrangian of general relativity) for its low field case we don’t know about the similar natural scale of inflation. (If I’m reading the Bluepaper correctly.) And as per above we might not need to quantize gravity to predict the resulting multiverse; (semiclassical) inflation and GR may be the relevant effective theory for cosmology.

Quantum gravity is an iffy theory at best. However string theory seems eminently predictive on the very same parameter space as inflation.

Olaf
Member
Olaf
July 7, 2010 1:21 PM

A question for the experts.
Is this Cosmic background radiation the big bang itself the moment the universe became transparent?
Is it OK to visualise it to be the big ball of energy during the big bang when I would wrap it inverted on a sphere?

Or is it just some leftover remnant of something that happened a few millions of years after the big bang?

Olaf
Member
Olaf
July 7, 2010 1:23 PM

And another question pops to mind.
Space if growing exponentially, so is this cosmic background radiation a fixed place where space and time stops just behind it? Or could space and time have expanded faster than the cosmic background radiation after 13.7 billion years so it want way past it?

Lawrence B. Crowell
Member
Lawrence B. Crowell
July 7, 2010 6:41 PM
Torbjorn Larsson OM What is the blue paper? Inflation is a period where the spacetime expanded according to an exponentially growing scale factor. The space or spacetime is still classical. Any region of space would have contained a gas of extremely high energy particles at unification plus gravity waves. The gravity waves are similar in this phase to what the CMB photons are to us now. The start of inflation is due to a decoupling of the quantum gravity field from the rest of the quantized conformal field theory. To push things back to where our cosmology connects up into the multiverse (a universe of spacetime cosmologies) you do have to go back to this quantum gravity period… Read more »
Torbjorn Larsson OM
Member
Torbjorn Larsson OM
July 8, 2010 7:17 AM
@ Olaf: I’m no expert, but my take on these interesting questions: – “Is this Cosmic background radiation the big bang itself the moment the universe became transparent?” As LBC said, yes, the last photons that were scattered. – “Is it OK to visualise it to be the big ball of energy during the big bang when I would wrap it inverted on a sphere?” Define “wrap it inverted”. The energy density was uniform, so any inversion wouldn’t be noticeable. – “is this cosmic background radiation a fixed place where space and time stops just behind it? Or could space and time have expanded faster” Also the energy filled the whole universe: it has to expand with it.… Read more »
Torbjorn Larsson OM
Member
Torbjorn Larsson OM
July 8, 2010 7:25 AM
Lawrence B. Crowell: Sorry I misstated, it was the ESA Blue Book on Planck. It isn’t a paper, though it has certainly been scrutinized in some form. The space or spacetime is still classical. The cosmological physics may not be, if large field inflation is true. That is why it can grow out of a Planck volume. Surely spacetime breaks down before that. To push things back to where our cosmology connects up into the multiverse (a universe of spacetime cosmologies) you do have to go back to this quantum gravity period where our cosmos quantum tunneled as a “vacuum blob” from some other cosmos into its own nascent spacetime cosmology. You don’t have to go back to… Read more »
Olaf
Member
Olaf
July 8, 2010 7:31 AM

I think I understand my logic flaw.
We are probably looking form inside the big bang, like inside the ball towards the inner-part of the ball shell.

I was wondering if we were looking outward towards the big bang ball. Outside looking at the outer shell of the ball. But this does not sound ok. It was just an idea that popped up.

Torbjorn Larsson OM
Member
Torbjorn Larsson OM
July 8, 2010 7:54 AM
Ah, I can do better: If it is part of a predictive theory it is always okay. Provided that it is internally consistent, that is. But it hits me that the same analogous procedure is already accepted in 2nd quantization. (Which, ironically, I believe quantum gravity theories also have problems with.) A bit awkward since I have never studied quantum field theory, but here goes: 2nd quantization has AFAIU never been axiomatized. What you do appears to be that you do reasonable physical assumptions (scaffolding), perform quantization (removes scaffolding), but then has to check that the result is an actual solution (check energy conditions et cetera). The similarity between 2nd quantization/world sheet perturbation is likely more than a… Read more »
wjwbudro
Member
wjwbudro
July 8, 2010 11:54 AM

Can I reach out and touch a CMB photon?

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