© 2015 Cardiff Scientific Society

The Herschel & Planck Satellites: Exploring the Big Bang and the formation of Stars and Galaxies
(Joint Lecture with Cardiff Astronomical Society)
Professor Matt J. Griffin PhD
Director of Research, School of Physics & Astronomy, Cardiff University
ESA will soon launch the Herschel and Planck satellites, which have been developed and built over a period of more than ten years. Both satellites use advanced detectors and instruments, cooled to very low temperatures for maximum sensitivity.  By observing the faint radiation left over from the early universe, Planck will reveal to us what happened during the first split second of the big bang.  Herschel will tell us how the galaxies formed when the universe was only a tenth of its present age, and how new stars are forming now in our own galaxy.  The talk will give an account of the main scientific objectives of Herschel and Planck, and of some of the technical advances that have made them possible.