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Herschel discovers a "cosmic pearl necklace"
The SPIRE and PACS instruments, the "eyes" of the ESA Herschel telescope have discovered large numbers of stars of every age in a part of our galaxy that had, until 4 October, been believed to be cold and inactive. The images are so spectacular that staff in Paris decided to publish them immediately.


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The Herschel Space Observatory has produced spectacular new images of interstellar material in our galaxy, using the UK-led SPIRE camera in tandem with Herschel's other camera, PACS.
Physicists from Imperial College London played a key role in conceiving, designing and developing the SPIRE instrument over the last 20 years, and more recently have been instrumental in developing the software to convert masses of raw data from space into the pictures released by the European Space Agency today.


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A team of Edinburgh scientists has taken part in a project which has created never-before-seen images of the Milky Way.
Scientists from the Royal Observatory played a key role in the development of a camera which has now produced photos from an area a million miles from earth.

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New images of our galaxy today showed a small part of the milky way in a new light.
A British scientist involved in obtaining the pictures said they showed the galaxy in "a very turbulent process", constantly forging new generations of stars.


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A remarkable view of our Galaxy has been obtained by Europe's billion-euro Herschel Space Observatory.
The telescope was put in a special scanning mode to map a patch of sky.
The images reveal in exquisite detail the dense, contorted clouds of cold gas that are collapsing in on themselves to form new stars.

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Space telescope suffers instrument delay
One of three instruments on board the European Space Agency's Herschel spacecraft has stopped working, impairing the mission's ability to examine the early Universe. After being switched off for more than a month, it is unclear when the instrument will be turned on again.

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Call it the space telescope with night-vision goggles. Nearly 20 years after the Hubble Space Telescope offered the first crystal-clear views of the cosmos, the Herschel Space Observatory is set to lift the veil on parts of the universe that are, even to the Hubble, invisible.
For Herschel is an infrared telescope - it observes heat, in the form of infrared radiation, rather than light. Active infrared night vision works on the same principle. Astronomers, as it turns out, enjoy being able to see in the dark as much as soldiers.

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The UK-led SPIRE 'camera' on the Herschel space telescope has taken its first test images of two galaxies in the constellations of Pisces and Leo, with spectacular results.
The images were processed at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory by a small team including two Imperial physics researchers. Imperial's physicists played a key role in conceiving, designing and developing the SPIRE instrument over the last 20 years, and more recently have been instrumental in developing the software to convert masses of raw data from space into the pictures released by the European Space Agency today. These provide a never-before-seen insight into the cold dusty regions of galaxies, where stars are formed. Over the next 3 years Imperial physicists will study images like these from Herschel to further their understanding of some of the most fundamental processes in the Universe.

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Europe's Herschel space observatory is set to become one of the most powerful tools ever to study the Universe.
The "first light" data from its three instruments demonstrates a remarkable capability even though their set-up is still not complete.
Galaxy images released on Friday by the European Space Agency show detail previously unseen in the objects.
The pictures - and the thousands that will follow - should give new insights on star formation and galaxy evolution.


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Europe's new Herschel space observatory has provided a demonstration of its capability with a first image of the iconic Whirlpool Galaxy.
The billion-euro telescope opened its "eyes" to the cosmos last Sunday when a command was given to lift a protective hatch covering the instrument bay.
Herschel spied the galaxy, also known as M51, with its Photoconductor Array Camera and Spectrometer (PACS).

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