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Latest Herschel Space Observatory Stories

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2009-09-17 08:10:00

Preliminary results from ESA's Planck mission to study the early Universe indicate that the data quality is excellent. This bodes well for the full sky survey that has just begun. Planck started surveying the sky regularly from its vantage point at the second Lagrange point of the Sun-Earth system, L2, on 13 August. The instruments were fine-tuned for optimum performance in the period preceding this date. ESA's Planck microwave observatory is the first European mission designed to study the...

2009-08-18 09:53:47

NASA says its Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer spacecraft called WISE has arrived at its last stop on Earth -- Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The space agency said WISE is scheduled to be launched from Vandenberg in December to scan the entire sky at infrared wavelengths, searching for asteroids, stars and galaxies. WISE has arrived and is almost ready to go, said William Irace, the mission's project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. After we check the...

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2009-08-18 07:15:00

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, has arrived at its last stop on Earth -- Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. WISE is scheduled to blast into space in December, aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket from NASA's Space Launch Complex 2. Orbiting around Earth, it will scan the entire sky at infrared wavelengths, unveiling hundreds of thousands of asteroids, and hundreds of millions of stars and galaxies. The spacecraft arrived at Vandenberg along the central...

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2009-07-10 10:45:00

Europe's Herschel space observatory has had incredible results with its first test observation using three of its instruments, which proves it is on its way to becoming one of the most dynamic tools ever created to study the cosmic roots of the world as we know it. While their set-up is not quite complete, the "first light" data demonstrates amazing ability. The telescope first targeted galaxies, star-forming regions and dying stars. They gathered amazing data on the first try, finding...

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2009-06-19 10:30:00

Herschel opened its 'eyes' on June 14 and the Photoconductor Array Camera and Spectrometer obtained images of M51, "Ëœthe whirlpool galaxy' for a first test observation. Scientists obtained images in three colors which clearly demonstrate the superiority of Herschel, the largest infrared space telescope ever flown. This image shows the famous "Ëœwhirlpool galaxy', first observed by Charles Messier in 1773, who provided the designation Messier 51 (M51). This spiral...

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2009-06-15 08:20:00

Europe's billion dollar Herschel space observatory has accomplished a huge milestone by opening the hatch that has been sheltering its susceptible instruments from contamination. This allowed the light gathered by Herschel's massive mirror to flood the chilled instrument chamber, or cryostat, for the very first time. The observatory's goal is to learn how stars and galaxies are created, and how they develop. The command to release two pyrotechnic bolts attached to the hatch was the biggest...

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2009-06-10 15:30:30

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, has been assembled and is undergoing final preparations for a planned Nov. 1 launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The mission will survey the entire sky at infrared wavelengths, creating a cosmic clearinghouse of hundreds of millions of objects -- everything from the most luminous galaxies, to the nearest stars, to dark and potentially hazardous asteroids. The survey will be the most detailed to date in infrared light, with a...

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2009-06-05 09:45:00

Beginning today, ESA's Planck satellite will carry out a critical mid-course maneuver that will place the satellite on its final trajectory for arrival at L2, the second Lagrange point of the Sun-Earth system, early in July. The maneuver is scheduled to begin at 19:28 CEST on June 5 2009, and will last for up to 30 hours. Planck's main thrusters will conduct repeated 'pulse burns' during this time, switching on then off for 6 seconds every minute. This pulse-burn technique is necessary...

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2009-05-27 14:53:54

A telescope designed by a University of Miami physicist and an international team of collaborators has produced the clearest images of starburst galaxies, revealing a new picture of the universe in its early stages People have always wondered where we, our Earth, our galaxy, come from. A group of scientists has now driven that quest one step further and taken a peak at how the stars that gave rise to most of the material found on our universe formed over cosmic history. University of Miami...

2009-05-21 14:06:58

The European Space Agency says the commissioning of scientific instruments and subsystems aboard its Herschel and Planck spacecraft has started. The two space observatories were lifted into orbit aboard an Ariane 5 rocket last week from the French spaceport at Kourou, French Guiana. Scientists said Herschel and Planck were functioning nominally and are now en route to their final orbits around the second Lagrange point, a spot in space know as L2, approximately 932,000 miles from Earth....