This illustration shows ESA's Planck spacecraft in shades of blue. The craft has a circular base topped by a short instrument with an open top and instrument pieces visible inside.
December 20, 2022
Historical DateDecember 20, 2022
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An illustration of ESA's Planck spacecraft. The colors depicted in this illustration are for artistic purposes only.

Planck made precise measurements of minuscule variations in the cosmic microwave background, the oldest light in the universe, which was emitted just 380,000 years after the big bang, which took place 13.8 billion years ago.

Launched: May 14, 2009
Decommissioned: October 23, 2013