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TOPIC: Herschel Space Observatory


L

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RE: Herschel Space Observatory
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By the end of 2007, the assembly of the ESAs Herschel far-infrared space observatory the latest mission to study the formation and evolution of stars and galaxies will be completed.
ESA and Astrium are jointly inviting the media to a press conference in Friedrichshafen, Germany, on 19 September 2007, to hear about this revolutionary spacecraft, its scientific objectives, and to view the very heart of its hardware.

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L

Posts: 131433
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Herschel and SPIRE
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A UK-led instrument which will study a previously unexplored part of the Universe leaves the UK this week to be installed on the European Space Agencys Herschel spacecraft in Germany.
Herschel, a multi purpose space observatory, is scheduled to launch in 2008, in a dual configuration with ESAs cosmic microwave background mission, Planck. The spacecraft will view the Universe in the far and sub-millimetre wavelength bands and will study the process of how stars form and evolve. As well as looking at our own galaxy and its evolution, Herschel will look at how galaxies formed in the early Universe on a grand scale.

"What is particularly exciting about Herschel is that it will be able to study, in an unrestricted way, a large area of the Universe (between 200 and 400 microns) that cannot be viewed from Earth. The instruments onboard really will be probing the hidden areas of our Universe - Professor Keith Mason, CEO of the Science and Technology Facilities Council.

With a sophisticated payload the spacecraft will also be able to study the atmospheres around planets, comets and satellites. There are three instruments onboard Herschel:- SPIRE (Spectral and Photometric Imaging Receiver), HIFI (the Heterodyne Instrument for the Far Infrared) and PACS (Photodetector Array Camera and Spectrometer).
The SPIRE instrument has been built, assembled and tested at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire by an international consortium from Europe, US, Canada and China.

SPIRE is designed to exploit Herschels unique capabilities in addressing two of the most prominent questions in astrophysics:- how and when did galaxies form and how do stars form? - Professor Matt Griffin from Cardiff University who is Principal Investigator for SPIRE.

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L

Posts: 131433
Date:
Herschel Space Observatory
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Giant mirror will boldly go to explore galaxies:
At the Tuorla Observatory in Piikkiö, near Turku, Finland, most of the last eight months have been spent in polishing the world's largest space mirror, 3.5 metres in diameter. In February 2007, the mirror will be launched with an Ariane-5 rocket as part of the Herschel Space Observatory; its` four year mission to study the formation of galaxies and their evolution.

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