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Latest Herschel Space Observatory Stories

Observatory Finds Water Vapor In Cosmic Cloud That Could Drown Earth
2012-10-09 14:54:53

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online The European Space Agency (ESA) said its Herschel space observatory found a gas and dust cloud that contains enough water vapor to fill Earth's oceans more than 2,000 times over. The new observations of a pre-stellar core--or cold, dark clouds of gas and dust--in the constellation of Taurus are the first detection of water vapor in a molecular cloud on the verge of star formation. “To produce that amount of vapor, there...

Herschel Captures Cygnus-X: The Cool Swan Glowing In Flight
2012-05-11 03:05:41

Chaotic networks of dust and gas signpost the next generations of massive stars in this stunning new image of the Cygnus-X star-nursery captured by ESA´s Herschel space observatory. Cygnus-X is an extremely active region of massive-star birth some 4500 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Cygnus, the Swan. Using Herschel´s far-infrared eyes, astronomers can seek out regions where dust has been gently heated by stars, pointing them to dense clumps of gas where new...

Black Holes Stop Star Births In Galaxies
2012-05-09 13:49:28

Astronomers have found that a number of stars that form during the early lives of galaxies may be influenced by the massive black holes in the center of the celestial suburb. The team, using the European Space Agency's (ESA) Herschel Space Observatory, looked a distant galaxies that were far enough away that the light reaching Herschel is from billions of years ago. "Herschel provides a new perspective and is conducting a number of surveys of galaxies near and far, in order to unravel...

2012-05-09 06:22:17

WASHINGTON, May 9, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Herschel Space Observatory has shown galaxies with the most powerful, active black holes at their cores produce fewer stars than galaxies with less active black holes. The results are the first to demonstrate black holes suppressed galactic star formation when the universe was less than half its current age. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) Herschel is a European Space Agency-led mission with...

Comets Collide To Create Dust Belt
2012-04-12 04:45:20

The ESA´s Herschel Space Observatory has been studying the dust near the star Fomalhaut and has found the surrounding dust appears to have come from the dust of destroyed comets. A young star, Fomalhaut is estimated to be just a few million years old and twice as large as the sun. The dust belt near the star was discovered in the 1980s by the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS). Herschel's imaging technology and capabilities are able to capture a clearer picture of this dust belt,...

2012-04-05 03:36:27

Observations by two of the European Space Agency's space observatories have provided a multi-wavelength view of the mysterious galaxy Centaurus A. The elliptical galaxy Centaurus A at visible, far-infrared and x-ray wavelengths. In visible light the galaxy appears as a ball of stars, with a thick lane of dust running across it. The far-infrared light shows the glow from jets of material emanating from near the black hole in the galaxy´s core. Also visible is a twisted disc of dust,...

Image 1 - GOODS-Herschel Reveals Gas Mass Role In Creating Fireworks Versus Beacons Of Star Formation
2012-03-27 09:24:29

A study of galaxies in the deepest far-infrared image of the sky, obtained by the Herschel Space Observatory, highlights the two contrasting ways that stars formed in galaxies up to 12 billion years ago. Dr Georgios Magdis will present the results at the National Astronomy Meeting in Manchester. Recent results from Herschel show that gas-rich galaxies in the early universe were able to create stars at an intense rate. In the nearby universe, we only see such high rates of star formation...

Young Stars Flicker Amidst Clouds Of Gas And Dust
2012-02-29 13:22:36

Astronomers have spotted young stars in the Orion nebula changing right before their eyes, thanks to the European Space Agency's Herschel Space Observatory and NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. The colorful specks -- developing stars strung across the image -- are rapidly heating up and cooling down, speaking to the turbulent, rough-and-tumble process of reaching full stellar adulthood. The rainbow of colors represents different wavelengths of infrared light captured by both Spitzer and...

Image 1 - New Images Show Stardust In Nearby Galaxies
2012-01-11 08:45:32

The cold dust that builds blazing stars is revealed in new images that combine observations from the Herschel Space Observatory, a European Space Agency-led mission with important NASA contributions; and NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. The new images map the dust in the galaxies known as the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, two of the closest neighbors to our own Milky Way galaxy. The Large Magellanic Cloud looks like a fiery, circular explosion in the combined Herschel-Spitzer infrared...

2011-10-20 13:57:00

WASHINGTON, Oct. 20, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Using data from the Herschel Space Observatory, astronomers have detected for the first time cold water vapor enveloping a dusty disk around a young star. The findings suggest that this disk, which is poised to develop into a solar system, contains great quantities of water, suggesting that water-covered planets like Earth may be common in the universe. Herschel is a European Space Agency mission with important NASA contributions....