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Planck space telescope to be switched off today

Planck against its all-sky map of the CMB. Credit: ESA and the Planck Collaboration - D. Ducros

A telescope built with expertise from Cardiff University will be switched off today.

Planck has been scanning the sky to map the relic radiation from the Big Bang, the Cosmic Microwave Background or CMB.

Researchers in Cardiff built one of the telescope's instruments.

During its mission, the telescope has helped scientists to gain a better understanding of the universe and its origins, revealing the universe is older than previously thought at 13.8 billion years.

Mission controllers have fired Planck's thrusters to empty its fuel tanks. Now its on its way to a "parking" orbit around the sun.

Today its transmitters will be switched off and Planck will fall silent.

Meteors captured in Powys night sky

The Perseids meteor shower illuminated the night sky from Pontrobert, near Welshpool, in Powys. Credit: Viewer's picture / Andy Keen
This image is a culmination of 620 photographs. Credit: Viewer's picture / Andy Keen
This long-exposure image also shows the International Space Station (the long white line pointing down towards the stone building). Credit: Viewer's picture / Andy Keen

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'Shooting stars' seen all over Wales

People all over Wales took to Twitter to share their excitement at having seen the Perseids meteor shower last night.

Meteor shower lights up Welsh skies

This picture was taken at the Lower Neuadd Reservoir in the Brecon Beacons - which is recognised as a good location for stargazing. Credit: Richard Jones - MLA Photography

Stargazers in Wales were delighted by the "natural firework display" of the Perseids meteor shower last night.

Meteors - often known as shooting stars - appeared as a result of material falling from the tail of Comet Swift-Tuttle.

The Perseids meteor shower is an annual event, between mid-July and mid-August, but last night was expected to be particularly good, with as many as 60 meteors an hour visible to the naked eye.

A zoomed-in version of the photograph, taken at 1.20am, shows a green-tailed meteor. Credit: Richard Jones - MLA Photography

Do you have a photograph of the Perseids meteor show, as seen from Wales, last night?

Please email: wales@itv.com

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