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Latest Herschel Space Observatory Stories

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2011-07-08 07:06:09

ESA's Herschel Space Observatory has detected cosmic dust from a supernova, adding to the theory that these cosmic fireworks are responsible for its creation. The astronomers who used Herschel to make the discovery said origin of the dust is important because it plays a crucial role in the formation of stars, particularly billions of years ago when star formation was at its peak.  "Interestingly, this brand new clue does not come from observations of very distant galaxies, but from one...

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2011-06-01 11:00:00

All space missions have one inescapable dependency: the electricity flowing through their systems to keep them alive. Take away its power and a spacecraft is nothing more than space debris "“ an eventuality the space power professionals strive to avoid. Next week sees more than 250 experts come together at an ESA-organized conference on power systems. The Ninth European Space Power Conference (ESPC) will take place on 6"“10 June in Saint Raphaël on...

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2011-05-09 08:45:00

ESA's Herschel infrared space observatory has detected raging winds of molecular gas streaming away from galaxies. Suspected for years, these outflows may have the power to strip galaxies of gas and halt star formation in its tracks. The winds that Herschel has detected are extraordinary. The fastest is blowing at a speed of more than 1000 km/s, or about 10 000 times faster than the wind in a terrestrial hurricane. This is the first time that such molecular gas outflows have been...

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2011-04-19 09:09:22

Technology developed for space missions to study the most distant objects in the Universe is now finding a host of practical applications back on Earth. QMC Instruments Ltd., in partnership with the Astronomical instrumentation Group at Cardiff University, has built instruments for many major space missions, including Herschel and Planck. Now, expanding on that experience they are developing KIDCAM, a kind of detector that could have applications in hospitals, factories and airports. Ken Wood...

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2011-04-13 11:50:00

ESA's Herschel space observatory has revealed that nearby interstellar clouds contain networks of tangled gaseous filaments. Intriguingly, each filament is approximately the same width, hinting that they may result from interstellar sonic booms throughout our Galaxy. The filaments are huge, stretching for tens of light years through space and Herschel has shown that newly-born stars are often found in the densest parts of them. One filament imaged by Herschel in the Aquila region...

2011-02-16 12:29:00

WASHINGTON, Feb. 16, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Herschel Space Observatory has revealed how much dark matter it takes to form a new galaxy bursting with stars. Herschel is a European Space Agency cornerstone mission supported with important NASA contributions. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO ) The findings are a key step in understanding how dark matter, an invisible substance permeating our universe, contributed to the birth of massive galaxies in...

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2011-02-16 14:13:30

The Herschel Space Observatory has revealed how much dark matter it takes to form a new galaxy bursting with stars. Herschel is a European Space Agency cornerstone mission supported with important NASA contributions. The findings are a key step in understanding how dark matter, an invisible substance permeating our universe, contributed to the birth of massive galaxies in the early universe. "If you start with too little dark matter, then a developing galaxy would peter out," said astronomer...

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2011-01-05 08:59:02

Two ESA observatories have combined forces to show the Andromeda Galaxy in a new light. Herschel sees rings of star formation in this, the most detailed image of the Andromeda Galaxy ever taken at infrared wavelengths, and XMM-Newton shows dying stars shining X-rays into space. During Christmas 2010, ESA's Herschel and XMM-Newton space observatories targeted the nearest large spiral galaxy M31. This is a galaxy similar to our own Milky Way "“ both contain several hundred billion stars....

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2010-12-17 06:35:00

A UK-led international team of astronomers have presented the first conclusive evidence for a dramatic surge in star birth in a newly discovered population of massive galaxies in the early Universe. Their measurements confirm the idea that stars formed most rapidly about 11 billion years ago, or about three billion years after the Big Bang, and that the rate of star formation is much faster than was thought. The scientists used the European Space Agency's Herschel Space Observatory, an...

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2010-11-22 06:50:00

Submillimeter observatories penetrate cold, dusty galaxies to see stars forming in the primeval past A chance alignment of galaxies, recently observed by a space observatory, presents the perfect opportunity for studying star-forming galaxies billions of light-years away. For decades, astronomers have used Einstein's concept of a "gravitational lens" to study the magnified images of distant objects.  A lensing effect occurs when a massive object, such as a galaxy, is located exactly...