The Planck hangs out close to a million miles (1.5 million kilometers) from Earth and always points away from the sun, in order to get clearer measurements. Its operating temp is a bit lower than -273° C, just above absolute zero and a few degrees warmer than the average American bed when the anniversary gift and flowers are purchased at the nearby convenience store because it's still open 10 minutes before midnight.
It scans the sky in a sort of one swath at a time back and forth mode, the way my dad wanted me to mow the yard even though concentric squares took less time. Ahem. Anyway, as the story notes, it builds a strip-by-strip (some might say "Planck-by-Planck," but we would harm them if they did) view of the sky.
Scientists have detected radiation that comes from a mere 380,000 years after the initial singularity or Big Bang that is theorized as the beginning of the universe. Prior to that, conditions in the universe were too hot to differentiate between actual substance and emitted radiation. Again, insert your own favorite elected official/government functionary joke here.
The best guess age estimate of the universe is about 15 billion years, which means the Planck is taking pictures of the universe the way it looked when it was about 2½ percent as old as it is now. If the average human lifespan is about 75 years, then this is like a picture of us taken when we were about 22½ months old. Evidently the universe holds still for the camera better than we did -- I hesitate to imagine what God used for a squeaky toy to get its attention otherwise.