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The Earth/Sun Lagrange points with an L2 Lissajous orbit illustrated. Credit: NASA.

The Planck Mission
Mar 16, 2010

Third try pays for all.

On May 19, 2009, the European Space Agency (ESA) launched both Planck and the Herschel Long-Wavelength Space Observatory together on top of an Ariane 5 delivery system. Both spacecraft entered orbit around Lagrange point L2 and began operations a short time ago. Although each is a separate mission, their individual placement at L2 made it more efficient to launch them as a combined package.

The five Lagrange points shown above represent two stable and three unstable positions. L4 and L5 are stable: an object placed there will remain in position indefinitely, with no need for periodic orbital adjustments. L1 offers a clear view of the Sun, so the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory Satellite (SOHO) was placed there. The Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP), on the other hand, occupied L2 because it places Earth between it and the solar disk, which is why Planck has also been set in that location. Later, in 2014, L2 will be occupied by the James Webb space telescope, as well.

Planck is designed to analyze the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMBR) with greater precision than either of its predecessors, the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) and WMAP. COBE is no longer operational, but WMAP continues to scan the sky. However, is WMAP providing accurate information, and is the recent map showing the distribution of temperatures in the early Universe nothing but an illusion?

The Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) was launched June 30, 2001, from Cape Canaveral in an attempt at understanding some unusual telemetry returned by COBE in 1992. Big Bang theory does not account for the areas of anisotropy seen first by COBE because matter and energy should be evenly distributed. The WMAP survey verified COBE's results.

In a previous Picture of the Day, we quoted EU theorist Wal Thornhill:

"If Arp and others are right and the Big Bang is dead, what does the Cosmic Microwave Background signify? The simplest answer, from the highly successful field of plasma cosmology, is that it represents the natural microwave radiation from electric current filaments in interstellar plasma local to the Sun... Instead of the Cosmic Microwave Background, it is the Interstellar Microwave Background. That makes sense of the fact that the CMB is too smooth to account for the lumpiness of galaxies and galactic clusters in the universe."

So, in reality, there is no temperature fluctuation from the earliest days of the universe shining in microwaves down from the heavens. However, the problems with CMB measurements from COBE and WMAP are far greater than we considered in that previous article. Coupled with previous observations by Thornhill and others, the CMBR appears to get most of its energy signature from a rather surprising place: Earth itself.

According to papers recently published by Pierre-Marie Robitaille of Ohio State University's Department of Radiology, many oversights and offhanded errors crept in to the data from WMAP. The team did not fully calibrate the FIRAS spectrophotometer before launch, many possible error sources in the calibration protocol were zeroed out, and no account was taken of thermal emissions from Earth's oceans—which turns out to be the likely source of so-called "cosmic" microwave radiation.

Quoting the WMAP critique:

"All of the cosmological constants which are presented by the WMAP team are devoid of true meaning, precisely because the images are so unreliable. Given the tremendous dynamic range problems, the inability to remove the galactic foreground, the possibility of generating galactic ghosts through 'cleaning', the lack of signal to noise, the lack of reproducibility, the use of coefficients which fluctuate on a yearly basis, and the problem of monitoring results on a cosmological timescale, attempts to determine cosmological constants from such data fall well outside the bounds of proper image interpretation."

Stephen Smith



"The Cosmic Thunderbolt"

YouTube video, first glimpses of Episode Two in the "Symbols of an Alien Sky" series.


And don't forget: "The Universe Electric"

Three ebooks in the Universe Electric series are now available. Consistently praised for easily understandable text and exquisite graphics.

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  Thunderbolts of the Gods

  Follow the stunning success of the Electric Universe in predicting the 'surprises' of the space age.  
  Our multimedia page explores many diverse topics, including a few not covered by the Thunderbolts Project.  

Authors David Talbott and Wallace Thornhill introduce the reader to an age of planetary instability and earthshaking electrical events in ancient times. If their hypothesis is correct, it could not fail to alter many paths of scientific investigation.
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Professor of engineering Donald Scott systematically unravels the myths of the "Big Bang" cosmology, and he does so without resorting to black holes, dark matter, dark energy, neutron stars, magnetic "reconnection", or any other fictions needed to prop up a failed theory.
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In language designed for scientists and non-scientists alike, authors Wallace Thornhill and David Talbott show that even the greatest surprises of the space age are predictable patterns in an electric universe.
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EXECUTIVE EDITORS: David Talbott, Wallace Thornhill
CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Michael Armstrong, Dwardu Cardona,
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