Scientific rationales

• The European Space Agency’s Planck and Herschel satellites were launched together on 14 May 2009.

• Planck has been surveying the sky stably and continuously since August 13th, 2009 and during 30 months for HFI - the High Frequency Instrument - while LFI - the Low Frequency
Instrument - is still operating. The main objective of Planck is to measure the angular anisotropies in temperature and polarization of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) with an unprecedented accuracy. The CMB anisotropies encode not only a wealth of cosmological information, but also provides a unique probe of the thermal history of the Universe during the time when the first stars and galaxies formed. In addition, the Planck sky surveys at submillimeter, millimetre and centimetre wavelengths produce a wealth of information on galaxy clusters, extragalactic sources and on interstellar dust particles in our own Galaxy.

• Herschel is a space observatory performing photometry and spectroscopy for the first time in the far infrared and submillimetre part of the spectrum, extending the wavelength coverage long wards from that of ISO and Spitzer. It carries the largest space telescope today in operation. The science payload comprises three instruments : two direct detection cameras/medium resolution spectrometers, PACS and SPIRE, and a very high-resolution heterodyne spectrometer, HIFI. Herschel is an observatory facility available to the community. Herschel is designed to observe the ‘cool universe’, to study early epoch galaxy building, the cosmologically evolving AGN-starburst symbiosis, the formation of stars and planetary systems, the late stages of stellar evolution, the physico-chemical processes in the interstellar medium both locally in our own Galaxy as well as in external galaxies.

• Planck and Herschel have new observing capabilities made available for the first time : spectral coverage, spectral and spatial resolution, sensitivity, stability, polarisation, sky coverage. Planck observations cover the whole sky, while Herschel allows detailed observations of specific regions with higher angular resolution and spectroscopic capabilities.

• The next major milestone in the Planck project is the release of the 2 first all-sky surveys data to the worldwide astronomical community in January 2013. Different kinds of product will be distributed : intensity maps, maps for different components, catalogues. At the time of the workshop, a large fraction of the Herschel database will be available to the community, containing maps, spectra and spectral maps taken by the three instruments with their different observing modes. The early analyses of the data show that the understanding of the instrument properties and of the key steps in the data processing is crucial for the data analysis.

• The goal of the school is to introduce the community of young astrophysicists to the access and the use of the Planck and Herschel products, together to the key processing, analysis and modelling tools. Five scientific sessions will be organised, focussing on the major astrophysical topics of Herschel and Planck, and describing the science, the data, the analysis tools and the reference models necessary to interpret the data. A special attention will be paid to the Planck/Herschel synergies, and the implications and follow-up with other observatories. Four afternoons of hands-on projects will be organised by experts of the instruments, pipelines and products, and will explore each instrument of the two satellites.

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