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Latest Herschel Space Observatory Stories

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...

Image 1 - Astronomers Detect Water-Covered Planets
2011-10-20 13:44:37

The Herschel Space Observatory has helped astronomers detect water-covered planets like Earth around a young star. The astronomers used data from Herschel to detect cold water vapor enveloping a dusty disk around the young star.  This is the first time scientists have found evidence of vast quantities of water extending out into the cooler, far reaches of disks where comets take shape.  The more water available in disks for icy comets to form, the greater the chances that...

Image 1 - Comet Found To Contain Ocean-Like Water
2011-10-05 14:10:47

According to a new study published in the journal Nature on Wednesday, the Earth's ocean may have been created by comets. Measurements taken from the Herschel Space Observatory show that comet Hartley 2 contains water with the same chemical signature as Earth's oceans. This comet lies in the Kuiper Belt about 30 to 50 times as far away as the distance between Earth and the sun. "Our results with Herschel suggest that comets could have played a major role in bringing vast amounts of...

Enceladus Influences Saturn's Chemical Composition
2011-09-21 12:59:20

   Chalk up one more feat for Saturn's intriguing moon Enceladus. The small, dynamic moon spews out dramatic plumes of water vapor and ice -- first seen by NASA's Cassini spacecraft in 2005. It possesses simple organic particles and may house liquid water beneath its surface. Its geyser-like jets create a gigantic halo of ice, dust and gas around Enceladus that helps feed Saturn's E ring. Now, thanks again to those icy jets, Enceladus is the only moon in our solar system known to...

Image 1 - Herschel Probes Dusty Past Of A Giant Star
2011-09-20 08:52:45

  About 5 thousand million years from now, our Sun will expand into a red giant, swelling to such a size that it may swallow the Earth. It will then begin to shed huge amounts of dust, surrounding itself with an expanding circumstellar envelope (CSE) that ultimately will become a planetary nebula. New insights into this process have been revealed by ESA's Herschel Space Observatory, which is providing unprecedented images of the complex, outer structure of a nearby CSE. As part of...

Ariane 5 To Launch BepiColombo Mercury Explorer
2011-09-16 07:19:04

  Reaching one of the most mysterious planets in our Solar System takes enormous power and finesse. ESA has now firmly entrusted its precious Mercury explorer to Europe´s largest rocket — the Ariane 5. ESA today signed the contract with Arianespace to launch its BepiColombo mission on an Ariane 5 from Europe´s Spaceport in French Guiana. Europe's first mission to probe the Solar System's innermost planet will depart in July 2014. BepiColombo's sensors will...

Image 1 - Collisions Not Needed For Star Formation
2011-09-13 09:46:39

  ESA's Herschel infrared space observatory has discovered that galaxies do not need to collide with each other to drive vigorous star birth. The finding overturns this long-held assumption and paints a more stately picture of how galaxies evolve. The conclusion is based on Herschel's observations of two patches of sky, each about a third of the size of the full Moon. It's like looking through a keyhole across the Universe — Herschel has seen more than a thousand galaxies...


Word of the Day
ramage
  • Boughs or branches.
  • Warbling of birds in trees.
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