Planck and Herschel launch, artwork. These two missions were launched into space on 14 May 2009 by an Ariane 5 rocket. The spacecraft are mounted on top of the rocket's second (upper) stage. Here, the covering (fairing) has separated, revealing the spacecraft inside. First Herschel (seen here), and then Planck (inside its carrier, black), separated from the upper stage and travelled away from Earth to carry out their missions. Herschel collects infrared radiation from some of the coolest and most distant objects in the Universe. Planck studies the Cosmic Microwave Background, the radiation left over from the Big Bang.
Science Photo Library was founded in 1981 by Michael Marten, one of the authors of "Worlds Within Worlds", a book exploring different ways to observe the universe - from electron micrographs, to images of earthrise taken from the Apollo spacecraft. When Marten started receiving requests for the beautiful images in the book, he had an idea of setting up Science Photo Library.
Since then, Science Photo Library has continued to work alongside world acclaimed photographers and the leading science and medical experts to provide a central source of the best science and specialist imagery available. Although the collection started with scientific images, it has grown to encompass all aspects of science and their impact on everyday life.
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