Seen from our edge-on perspective,
the Milky Way Galaxy sprawls
across the middle of this
false-color, all sky view.
The expansive microwave map is based on 1 year's worth
of data from instruments onboard the sky-surveying
Remarkably, the bright stripe of gas and dust clouds
along the galactic plane
and the galaxy's enormous arcing structures seen at
are hundreds or thousands of light-years away, while
the mottled regions at the top and bottom represent the Cosmic
Microwave Background (CMB) radiation,
some 13.7 billion
Left over from
the Big Bang,
fluctuations in the CMB reflect the origins
of structure in the evolving universe.
Analyzing the microwave data, Planck scientists plan to
separate the contributions of the Milky Way and CMB
The work will ferret out the characteristics
of the CMB across the entire sky
and glean information about
the make up of our Milky Way Galaxy.
Planck HFI & LFI Consortia