July 17, 2015

Second Planck catalogue of compact sources released

A new tool for Astronomers has just been released: the Second Planck catalogue of compact sources

ESA's Planck mission is the source for a new catalogue, eagerly awaited by the scientific community. The Second Planck Catalogue of Compact Sources uses data from the entire mission to identify tens of thousands of compact sources, as well as providing polarisation data for several hundred of them. The new catalogue surpasses its predecessors not only in the quantity of sources but also in the quality of data. It will be an asset to astronomers working in a wide range of fields.

Map of selection of compact sources from the Second Planck Catalogue of Compact Sources.
The catalogue includes data from the full Planck mission, surveying the entire sky in nine different wavelengths spanning the far-infrared to radio, covering the spectral range 30 GHz to 857 GHz. Featured in this image are the sources found using three of Planck’s nine frequency channels: 30 GHz (shown in red), 143 GHz (shown in blue) and 857 GHz (shown in green).
Credits : ESA - collaboration Planck

Catalogue use and applications

The catalogue is part of Planck legacy archive hosted at ESA's European Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC) and is available to all researchers. Data are provided in standard fits format tables that can be used with a variety of astronomical tools. A search tool allows users to search by coordinate or common name. The menagerie of sources in the catalogue includes radio galaxies, blazars, infrared-luminous galaxies, galaxy clusters, supernova remnants, cold molecular cloud cores, stars with dust shells, as well as many other unidentified objects.

Detailed view of Centaurus A as seen by Planck in intensity (upper images) and in polarization (lower images) from 30 to 353 GHz.  This information complement the infrared, visible or X-ray observations.
Credits : ESA - collaboration Planck

This tool is also useful for people studying the CMB. In fact, foreground sources must be masked when studying the primordial signal. This information is thus available over the whole sky, in temperature and in polarization.