The Planck Mission
Planck is a European Space Agency (ESA) mission with significant NASA involvement in hardware and science, managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology. Planck data products are provided by the Planck Consortium. Products are released by ESA through the archive at ESAC and by NASA through the the NASA/IPAC Infrared Science Archive (http://irsa.ipac.caltech.edu/), which is maintained at IPAC, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Planck is the third generation of space-based cosmic microwave background experiments, after NASA's Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) and NASA's Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP). It is also the third Medium-Sized Mission (M3) of European Space Agency's (ESA's) Horizon 2000 Scientific Program. The basic scientific goal of the Planck mission is to measure CMB anisotropies at all angular scales larger than 10 arcminutes over the entire sky with a precision of ~2 parts per million. The model payload consists of a 1.5 meter off-axis telescope with two focal plane arrays of detectors sharing the focal plane. Low frequencies will be covered by 56 tuned radio receivers sensitive to 30-100 GHz, while high frequencies will be covered by 56 bolometers sensitive to 100-850 GHz. The spacecraft will take 6 months to reach the L2 Lagrange point, from where it will map the full sky in another 6 months.
The Planck Science Team site includes recent project news, a picture gallery, public documents, a technical overview, a scientific overview, schedules, and a link to the instrument consortia (High Frequency Instrument, Low Frequency Instrument and Telescope).
The ERCSC product is an early release source catalog, including a list of galaxy clusters detected through the Sunyaev Zel'dovich (SZ) effect; this catalog is knows as the Planck Early Release Compact Source Catalogue (ERCSC). The SZ component is also available for download at LAMBDA and can be queried and/or cross-correlated with many other tables using HEASARC's Browse.