Friday, May 15, 2009
Herschel and Planck launched 14.5.
On May 14, 2009, the Ariane 5 was successfully launched with its 1.9 billion euro load from Kourou spaceport in French Guiana at 1312 GMT. See ESA web page for details about this remarkable launch.
The flight of the Ariane 5 lasted half an hour and the two satellites are now on their way to their positions 1.5 million kilometers from planet Earth. The travel to their destination will take between two and three months so Europaean Space Agency (ESA) scientist will be trying to hear the first signals in July or early August this summer.
If no signal is heard --- banish the thought!
These two satellites are collecting electromagnetic radiation to let physicists probe the origins of the Universe. The data they collect and send to Earth may revolutionize its inhabitants knowledge of the first stages after the Big Bang by studying the "oldest light" of cosmic microwave radiation and the infrared wavelengths of light under extreme cold conditions.
It is very interesting to read BBC science news how Professor George Efstathiou from Cambridge University, UK, said
It's possible we could find a signature from before the Big Bang; or it's possible we could find the signature of another Universe and then we'd have experimental evidence that we are part of a multi-verse.
May the distant signals of these two satellites be heard loud and clear!