Who says Twitter is frivolous?

Heh! Here’s something to make the Twitter-deniers choke on their muesli. The Herschel-Planck space mission is now well on its way. Needless to say, it has a good website. The mission has launched two spacecraft. Herschel is the largest, most powerful infrared telescope ever flown in space. Planck is

Named after the German Nobel laureate Max Planck 1858-1947, ESA’s Planck mission will be the first European space observatory whose main goal is the study of the Cosmic Microwave Background – the relic radiation from the Big Bang.

Observing at microwave wavelengths, ESA’s Planck observatory is the third space mission of its kind. It will measure tiny fluctuations in the CMB with unprecedented accuracy, providing the sharpest picture ever of the young Universe — when it was only 380 000 years old — and zeroing-in on theories that describe its birth and evolution.

Planck will measure the fluctuations of the CMB with an accuracy set by fundamental astrophysical limits.

But now comes the really neat bit: Planck has a Twitter feed! It curently has 360 followers — and, understandably, isn’t following anyone. Probably has enough to do as it hurtles through space.

(Yeah, yeah, I know: the Tweets are done by some geek in ESA. But still… A friend of mine’s husband is one of the leading scientists behind the project. He was a bit miffed when she sent him a message this morning telling him that some complex manoeuvre had been successfully completed. She knew before he did, because she’s a Twitterer and he’s not).