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The Planck Files,

LONDON—Today, Sunday 1 April, WikiLeaks began publishing The Planck Files - almost 1000 days of science, housekeeping and processed map data from the European Space Agency's Planck mission. The data range from August 2009 (OD 91) to late March 2012 (OD 1050).

Wikileaks, together with its media partners, feels it is important to release the data today to share with the world the dramatic extent of the impact these will have in the post-WMAP era. These data contain important new discoveries such as high-precision limits on the shape of the Universe and confirmation of Stephen Hawking's initials in the cosmic microwave background.

The objective of the European Space Agency's Planck Spacecraft is to map the cosmic microwave background anisotropies as fully and accurately as possible. Planck has been making very sensitive measurements of the temperature over the whole sky, at nine different frequencies between 30 and 900 GHz covered by two main instruments, the High and Low Frequency Instruments (HFI and LFI). On January 14 2012 the HFI ran out of coolant ending its ability to detect this faint energy.

The proprietary period for the first two Planck surveys of the sky is not due to end until January 2013. Wikileaks today announces the breaking of the Planck embargo and the release of all processed Planck data from surveys 1 & 2 as well as all raw data (SCI & HK TOIs) from both instruments over the lifetime of the mission from the First Light Survey to today.

Sharing the proprietary raw data with the world will allow everyone from cosmologists to crackpots to swamp astro-ph with papers free from the constraints of carefully cleaned and processed data.


- Public partners in the investigation
- Comment
- How to read the data

Public partners in the investigation:

More than 4 media partners (others will be disclosed after their first publication) :

 BBC News —
 National Enquirer — —
 Universe Today —


- WikiLeaks — Kristinn Hrafnsson, Official WikiLeaks representative, +35 4821 7121

Twitter tag : #planckdata. Tweet this


This is a glossary and information on how to understand the internal terms and codes used by Planck in their science and housekeeping data as well as map products. It is not a complete list. We call on the public to add to this list by tweeting #planckdata


Much of the time ordered data is in a proprietary format. To read this data we have provided IDL and python code.

Examples :

Please refer to the glossary for the FITS header information as well as the formats for the Attitude History Files and Instrument Model.


a) ESA and other misc. tags :

AHF - Attitude History File
EGSE - Electrical Ground Segment Equipment
IM - Instrument Model
RTA - Real-time Assessment
SCOS-2000 - generic mission control system software of ESA
TMH - TeleMetry Handler
TQL - Telemetry Quick-Look


Attached documents can be searched by Filename or part of the file name. Preliminary searches for filenames using the terms ’lists’, ’source lists’ or ’insight lists’, coupled with the names of source handlers (e.g. Paris for HFI data, IPAC for ERCSC data and Trieste for LFI data) produced Excel lists of the source names, SCI and HK data which correspond to the operational data (e.g. OD456).