The big conference about Planck’s first cosmology results is at ESTEC in the Netherlands this week.
Several of us are livetweeting some of the sessions. Go and look at:
@davecl42 (which is me!)
Things are, as you would imagine, busy. My colleague, Andrew Jaffe, is off to Channel 4 in half an hour, and a posse of Planck scientists is sitting in our coffee room watching presentations from Paris.
And if you want to play with the Planck maps yourself, I can recommend the Planck Chromoscope.
Bottom line of the results from my point of view: the era of precision cosmology has arrived!
More will accrete over the next few days.
No – not the content of the release, that’s still embargoed, but how you can watch the press conference yourself…
This is what I’ve been told are the arrangements for Planck Day, Thursday 21 March:
There is an ESA Press Conference in Paris from 9am UK time, with talks from the ESA Director General and George Efstathiou. There will be a simultaneous press event at the RAS here in London which will stream the Paris talks, and will be followed by a panel discussion and Q&A featuring Andrew Jaffe (Imperial), Mark Ashdown (Cambrdige), Richard Battye (Manchester), Anthony Challinor (Cambridge), Jo Dunkley (Oxford), Steve Gratton (Cambridge), Paul Shellard (Cambridge) and Locke Spencer (Cardiff).
There will also be an afternoon session in Paris with more technical talks.
Both morning and afternoon Paris talks will all be streamed at http://www.esa.int.
Papers will be up on the ESA site at about noon Thursday, and on astro-ph Friday morning.
As you all already know (and if you don’t you’ve not been paying attention to this blog!), the first Planck cosmology results are coming out on 21st March.
Just to make sure absolutely everybody knows this is going to happen, ESA have produced a trailer. Go and watch it now…
I think this is the first time there’s been a teaser trailer for a set of scientific results. I don’t think even the LHC did that.
And as for the cod 70s soundtrack? Sounds more appropriate for a Shaft movie to me. The possibilities for remixes are endless…
The official notice has gone up, and I am now free to reveal that the first set of Planck Cosmological results will be announced on 21st March.
The word from the official CNES web pages is:
Presentation of the first cosmologic results of Planck mission as well as its first all-sky images of the Cosmic Microwave Background
Launched in 2009, Planck studies the Cosmic Microwave Background – the relic radiation from the Big Bang – to allow cosmologists to zero-in on theories that describe the Universe’s birth and evolution. The first all-sky images of the Cosmic Microwave Background will be presented at the press conference held in Paris ESA HQ on March 21st, 2013.
As well as the press conference in Paris, we’re hoping that we can arrange some events in the UK as well, which will be convenient for me as I’m lecturing that morning and so will be unable to escape to Paris.
I’ve been rather silent here of late since I’ve been fighting both jet lag and a nasty cold, and I’ve been beavering away to get the slides and lecture notes finished for a course I start teaching next week.
First drafts of both are now done, so the pressure is reduced somewhat, and I’m awake enough this evening to do a short post.
But the big news… The clock is counting down to the date when the Planck cosmology results and data products are released!
It’s a few weeks away, but the date is set. I’m not actually sure I’m allowed to say when the date is going to be, but it is soon. So all of you eagerly awaiting the latest news in cosmology don’t have that much longer to hold your breath.
This post brought to you by a gratuitous attempt to push up my hit rate.
As one CMB satellite bows out, with the announcement of the final results form WMAP, the new year will see the rise of the next CMB experiment, Planck. You’ll still have to wait a bit longer for our results, though, since the big Planck cosmology conference (there have already been two Planck non-cosmology early results conferences) isn’t going to happen until early April. I’m part of the Planck team, so in theory I know something about what’s going on, but the rules and restrictions about what we can’t say to people outside the team are so strict (‘the first rule of Planck is you don’t talk about Planck’) that you won’t be hearing anything from me about anything until it’s public*.
Nevertheless, the anticipation is building. Jan Tauber, the Planck Project Scietist, has been picked as one of Nature’s Five to Watch in 2013, for example, and the BBC’s Jonathan Amos is keen to hear any rumour that might emerge, and has been pretty much since we launched.
Not that you’ll hear any of those here!
However, there is plenty of interesting stuff to do with the data that Planck has already been made public, and, fingers crossed, you might get to hear about some of that here before the big Planck Party in April.
* These policies are not universally supported. At a Planck meeting this year, for example, Rashid Sunyaev berated the Planck Science Team for establishing rules than meant we were getting scooped by ground based experiments like the SPT, while senior members of the Planck project have broken these rules without significant penalty. My own take on where such stringent rules will take science if this approach persists can be found here. It may be a work of fiction, but some of the Planck rules aren’t too far from my fictionalised satire.
You heard it here first…
I’ve just heard that our proposal to run a stand at the Royal Society Summer Exhibition on the Planck Satellite and its results has been approved. Lots of work, but this should be great! You’re all invited to the Royal Society between 2nd and 7th July to see what we come up with!
Today we launched Herschel and Planck.
It’s easy to say. The two satellites are now on their way to L2 after what was, as far as I could tell, a picture perfect launch.
Today we launched Herschel and Planck!
But it’s not so easy to understand. I’ve worked on these projects for the last 8 years. I’ve been aware of them in development for nearly 20 years.
But today we launched Herschel and Planck.
Until now they’ve been intellectual ideas, problems to sort out, puzzles to solve. How would we work with the data, what might we see.
And today we launched Herschel and Planck.
We celebrated. We watched the video, we drank champaign, we ate cake, we drank the wine.
Because today we launched Herschel and Planck.
And yet, coming home tonight, far later than I should, far drunker than I should, I still didn’t realize what we had done.
Then I looked up, through the cloudy, London sky, the yellow glowing backsides of clouds glaring back at me. And I knew they were there, on the dark side of the Earth, heading towards L2 to start telling us about the universe. Then, even though I hadn’t seen anything, I’d just looked up, it began to feel just a little bit real.
Because today we launched Herschel and Planck!