Herschel Mission Thread

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newtons_laws

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ESA have released first test images of the M51 "whirlpool galaxy" from Herschel's Photoconductor Array Camera and Spectrometer (PACS), see ESA site:
http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEM76A0P0WF_index_0.html

Beautiful! - The resolution of the Herschel optics is living up to expectations - this Mission looks set to be a cracker!
 
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CommonMan

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It looks like our Milky Way galaxy which I thought was a spiral galaxy. What is the different between a whirlpool galaxy and a spiral galaxy?
 
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freya

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I read somewhere, sorry no quote, but M51 was the first Spiral Galaxy to be identified as such. Though at the time of discovery, it was still not known if the spiral lay inside our own Milky Way galaxy (i.e. a nebula) or was external. Whether or not there was an 'external' to our MW galaxy was at the time a matter of conjecture. William Herschel had only identified that the sun was a member of a huge agglomeration of stars in 1785.
 
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JonClarke

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freya":39nfl7da said:
I read somewhere, sorry no quote, but M51 was the first Spiral Galaxy to be identified as such. Though at the time of discovery, it was still not known if the spiral lay inside our own Milky Way galaxy (i.e. a nebula) or was external. Whether or not there was an 'external' to our MW galaxy was at the time a matter of conjecture. William Herschel had only identified that the sun was a member of a huge agglomeration of stars in 1785.
That's correct. Lord Rosse first identfied the spiral structure in 1835. His later claim to have resolved into starts remained contraversial. Herschel and most others though they wer true nebulosities, and the spiral structure was seen as confirmation of the Kant-Laplace theory of the formation of stars and planets.

Jon
 
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MeteorWayne

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Latest News was as above, nothing since then:

http://www.esa.int/esaMI/Herschel/SEM76A0P0WF_0.html

19 June 2009
Herschel opened its 'eyes' on 14 June and the Photoconductor Array Camera and Spectrometer obtained images of M51, ‘the whirlpool galaxy’ for a first test observation. Scientists obtained images in three colours which clearly demonstrate the superiority of Herschel, the largest infrared space telescope ever flown.
 
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MeteorWayne

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Herschel is now making observations (test) with all it's instruments:

http://www.esa.int/esaMI/Herschel/SEMAYT6CTWF_0.html

"10 July 2009
Herschel has carried out the first test observations with all its instruments, with spectacular results. Galaxies, star-forming regions and dying stars comprised the telescope’s first targets. The instruments provided spectacular data on their first attempt, finding water and carbon and revealing dozens of distant galaxies.

These observations show that Herschel’s instruments are working beyond expectations. They promise a mission of rich discoveries for waiting astronomers."

Imags at the link above
MW
 
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aphh

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This is amazing infra-red astronomy. Who knows what they'll find out there. Remember, that the image does not come from the light that the object emits, but variations in temperature.

So in theory they should be able to detect objects not visible before. Some objects have stopped emitting visible light, but are still cooling and thus emit infra-red.
 
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MeteorWayne

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4 September 2009
Herschel’s Heterodyne Instrument for the Far Infrared, HIFI, was switched off temporarily after an anomaly was registered. An investigation is under way.

The instrument first registered the anomaly on 3 August. The chain of events that led to the anomaly is being traced back through the telemetry received from the spacecraft. On ground, engineers are simulating this chain of events on spare components of the instrument.

http://www.esa.int/esaSC/SEMUFIFF5ZF_index_0.html
 
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CommonMan

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Herschel’s Heterodyne Instrument for the Far Infrared, HIFI, was switched off temporarily after an anomaly was registered. An investigation is under way.


Aliens! This the way many sci-fiction shows start, the satellite quits working, then the Invasion!
I just said that before Jim48 had the chance.
:D
 
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MeteorWayne

Guest
News Release today:

http://www.esa.int/esaMI/Herschel/SEMUABGNA0G_0.html

2 October 2009
Herschel has delivered spectacular vistas of cold gas clouds lying near the plane of the Milky Way, revealing intense, unexpected activity. The dark, cool region is dotted with stellar factories, like pearls on a cosmic string.

On 3 September, Herschel aimed its telescope at a reservoir of cold gas in the constellation of the Southern Cross near the Galactic Plane. As the telescope scanned the sky, the spacecraft’s Spectral and Photometric Imaging REceiver, SPIRE, and Photoconductor Array Camera and Spectrometer, PACS instruments snapped the pictures. The region is located about 60° from the Galactic Centre, thousands of light-years from Earth.


Further info and images at the link.
 
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MeteorWayne

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http://www.esa.int/esaMI/Herschel/SEMT0T9K73G_0.html

16 December 2009
Herschel has peered inside an unseen stellar nursery and revealed surprising amounts of activity. Some 700 newly-forming stars are estimated to be crowded into filaments of dust stretching through the image. The image is the first new release of ‘OSHI’, ESA’s Online Showcase of Herschel Images.

This image shows a dark cloud 1000 light-years away in the constellation Aquila, the Eagle. It covers an area 65 light-years across and is so shrouded in dust that no previous infrared satellite has been able to see into it. Now, thanks to Herschel’s superior sensitivity at the longest wavelengths of the infrared, astronomers have their first picture of the interior of this cloud.

It was taken on 24 October using two of Herschel’s instruments: the Photodetector Array Camera and Spectrometer (PACS) and the Spectral and Photometric Imaging Receiver (SPIRE). The two bright regions are areas where large newborn stars are causing hydrogen gas to shine.

The new OSHI website that goes live today will become the library of Herschel’s best images. Stunning views of the infrared sky will be made available as the mission progresses. Each will be captioned in a way to make them accessible to media representatives, educators and the public.

http://www.esa.int/esa-mmg/mmg.pl?missi ... n&subm3=GO
 
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EarthlingX

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:mrgreen: Thank you, had to download first, unfortunately, big jpg doesn't work, had to dl 200MB tiff .. No matter :cool:

You of course remember this one ? :

Inside the dark heart of the Eagle
16 December 2009


Herschel has peered inside an unseen stellar nursery and revealed surprising amounts of activity. Some 700 newly-forming stars are estimated to be crowded into filaments of dust stretching through the image. The image is the first new release of ‘OSHI’, ESA’s Online Showcase of Herschel Images.
 
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EarthlingX

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http://oshi.esa.int/ : Another Stellar Gestation and Birth in the Milky Way


This image is a PACS/SPIRE three colors composite images (blue=70um, green=160um, red=250um) which unveil our own Milky Way Galaxy as one giant nursery where generations of new baby stars are continuously born.

This image is taken in constellation of Vulpecula and shows the entire assembly line of newborn stars. The diffuse glow reveals the widespread cold reservoir of raw material which our Galaxy has in stock for the production of new stars. Large-scale turbulence possibly due to giant colliding
Galactic flows causes this material to condense into the web of filaments that we see throughout the image, and that will act as "incubators" where the material becomes colder and denser.

Eventually gravitational forces will take over and fragment these filaments into chains of stellar embryos that can finally collapse to form infant stars.

ESA/PACS & SPIRE Consortium, Sergio Molinari, Hi-GAL Project
 
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EarthlingX

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Bit late, but anyway :

http://www.esa.int : Herschel and Planck win the French Grand Prix
10 June 2010


The Herschel and Planck AAAF Grand Prix 2010 award ceremony

Yesterday in Paris, ESA’s Herschel and Planck science missions were honoured by the French Association for Aeronautics and Astronautics. The association’s Grand Prix 2010 award for “outstanding space endeavours” was bestowed upon these groundbreaking missions.
Every year, the French Association for Aeronautics and Astronautics (AAAF) dedicates awards to those who have demonstrated true success and made significant advances. This year, the teams responsible for ESA’s Herschel and Planck missions have been honoured by the AAAF jury.
http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEMARKPK2AG_index_1.html#subhead1
ESA’s Herschel infrared observatory has an unprecedented view on the cold universe, bridging the gap between what can be observed from the ground and earlier infrared space missions. Infrared radiation can penetrate the gas and dust clouds that hide objects from optical telescopes, looking deep into star-forming regions, galactic centres and planetary systems. Also cooler objects, such as tiny stars and molecular clouds, even galaxies enshrouded in dust that are barely emitting optical light, can be visible in the infrared.

Credits: ESA - C. Carreau

http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEMARKPK2AG_index_1.html#subhead3
ESA’s Planck spacecraft’s main goal is to study the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) – the relic radiation from the Big Bang. It will map the fluctuations in the CMB that became today’s clusters of galaxies. Released just 380,000 years after the Big Bang, the CMB is the oldest ‘light’ that can be seen in the Universe. Planck will see both nearby and distant clusters of galaxies and be able to use its microwave ‘eyes’ to study cold gas in our Galaxy, the Milky Way.

Credits: ESA - C. Carreau
 
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EarthlingX

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[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBOfH2s7RgA[/youtube]
 
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EarthlingX

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A lot of reading here :

http://www.aanda.org : Herschel: the first science highlights
Editorial

Herschel special feature

Far infrared astronomy has become a mature science. Starting with relatively simple instrumentation on balloon and airborne platforms in the 1970’s and 80’s, it came “of age" with the success of the IRAS mission, which made this wavelength range relevant for astronomy as a whole. This was followed up by the ISO, Spitzer, and AKARI missions, and finally by Herschel for which the planning goes right back to those early days of balloons and planes. Herschel is special due to its sensitivity and angular resolution at the wavelengths where many Galactic and extragalactic objects have their peak energy output and it is thus useful to explore what has been achieved in the first year of the mission. This is accomplished in this special feature of Astronomy & Astrophysics, which gives an overview of the results, as well as illustrating some of the highlights from the first year of operation.
The far infrared and submillimeter wavelength ranges are important for many reasons but perhaps most fundamentally because starforming regions emit the bulk of their energy at wavelengths between 10 and 600 μm. That the atmosphere is opaque over much of this wavelength range has thus impeded our understanding of the formation of planets, stars, and galaxies. Over the past 40 years, this impediment has gradually been removed, and the very varied results obtained show what the far infrared can teach us. Perhaps most impressive is the range of subjects covered in this feature, including studies of planetary atmospheres and Solar System bodies, stars and star formation, interstellar medium and molecular clouds, extragalactic objects at high and low redshifts, as well as cosmology.We thus present here 152 articles with results on a vast variety of topics.

C.M. Walmsley, C. Bertout, F. Combes, A. Ferrara,
T. Forveille, T. Guillot, A. Jones, and S. Shore
Astronomy & Astrophysics Editors
 
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EarthlingX

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About the above reading :

http://www.universetoday.com : Boatload of Herschel Science Papers Released
July 16th, 2010

Written by Nancy Atkinson


A part of a Herschel/HIFI spectral scan (the white curve) overlaid on a background Spitzer Space Telescope image (ESA/HIFI/HEXOS/E. Bergin).

Love to read science papers? Here's a batch that will keep you busy for a while. 152 papers were released this morning highlighting the Herschel telescope's first science results. A few papers describe the observatory and its instruments, and the rest are dedicated to observations of many astronomical targets from bodies in the Solar System to distant galaxies. Herschel is the only space observatory to cover a spectral range from the far infrared to sub-millimeter, so there's a wide range of objects and topics covered, including star formation, galaxy evolution, and cosmology.

And you thought you'd have nothing to do this weekend!

A few highlights:
 
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EarthlingX

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http://www.esa.int : Small French firm behind Herschel’s giant mirror
28 July 2010

ESA’s Herschel telescope is surveying the infrared cosmos with the largest mirror flown in space. This 3.5 m-diameter reflector came from a small French firm whose workers once produced much more compact items: ceramic bearings and seals for industrial pumps.

Herschel main mirror
Based in Bazet near Toulouse, Boostec specialises in space optics. The 35-strong firm has made mirrors and optical supports for Herschel and other landmark missions, including Rosetta, Sentinel-2 and Gaia – ESA’s 3D Universe mapper.

“We were manufacturing for terrestrial industrial applications,” said Michel Bougoin, Optics Business Manager for Boostec. “What was then Matra Marconi Space – today Astrium – contacted us to say our silicon carbide held promise for space optics, and ask if we would work with them.”

SiC 'petal' for Herschel mirror

Herschel main mirror made from SiC petals

Completed Herschel mirror 'blank'
 
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kk434

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The Herschel Observatory is right now the laregst space based telescope(3.5 meter). It's strange that ESA has a larger aperture telescope than NASA, I'm from Sweden so we are very proud that ESA has now the largest space telescope, I hope that there will be some rivalery between NASA and ESA that results in a small "space race" to have the largest telescope in space.
 
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EarthlingX

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www.esa.int : Recipe for water: just add starlight
2 September 2010


Giant star IRC+10216

ESA’s Herschel infrared space observatory has discovered that ultraviolet starlight is the key ingredient for making water in space. It is the only explanation for why a dying star is surrounded by a gigantic cloud of hot water vapour.

Every recipe needs a secret ingredient. When astronomers discovered an unexpected cloud of water vapour around the old star IRC+10216 in 2001, they immediately began searching for the source. Stars like IRC+10216 are known as carbon stars and are thought not to make much water. Initially they suspected the star’s heat must be evaporating comets or even dwarf planets to produce the water.

Now, Herschel’s PACS and SPIRE instruments have revealed that the secret ingredient is ultraviolet light, because the water is too hot to have come from the destruction of icy celestial bodies.
 
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EarthlingX

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www.europlanet-eu.org _ Herschel Mars observation : First results


The Herschel Space Observatory is providing the first exciting results on Mars, from its guaranteed-time key program ‘‘Water and related chemistry in the Solar System’’. An accurate globally-averaged temperature profile of the Martian atmosphere may cause scientists to revise their models about atmospheric circulation on Mars. The first sub-millimeter observation of molecular oxygen on the planet may lead to a completely new picture of the oxygen distribution in the Martian atmosphere. These are only a few of the new discoveries that will be presented by Dr. Paul Hartogh at the European Planetary Science Congress in Rome, on Monday 20th September.
 
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