Herschel Space Observatory
|Herschel Space Observatory|
|Organization||European Space Agency (ESA)
|Location||Lagrangian point L2|
|Wavelength||60-670 µm (far-infrared)|
|Diameter||3,500 mm (140 in), f/0.5 (Primary Mirror)|
|Collecting area||9.6 m2 (103 sq ft)|
|Focal length||28.5 m (94 ft), f/8.7|
The Herschel Space Observatory is a European Space Agency instrument. It is the largest infrared space telescope ever launched. Herschel is named after Sir William Herschel, the discoverer of the infrared spectrum, double stars, and planet Uranus.
The observatory was carried into orbit in May 2009. It is at the second Lagrangian point (L2) of the Earth-Sun system. At these points, 1,500,000 kilometres (930,000 miles) from the Earth, gravity balances, so the object stays in place.
The Herschel Observatory can record ('see') the coldest and dustiest objects in space. For example, dusty galaxies just starting to form new stars. The United States, through NASA, is working with in the ESA-built and operated observatory. It is the fourth 'cornerstone' mission in the ESA science program, along with Rosetta, Planck, and the Gaia mission.
The instrument has four main aims:
- Galaxy formation in the early universe and the evolution of galaxies;
- Star formation and its interaction with the interstellar medium;
- Chemical composition of atmospheres and surfaces of Solar System bodies, including planets, comets and moons;
- Molecular chemistry across the universe.
Reference[change | edit source]
- "Revealing the invisible: Caroline and William Herschel". ESA. 18 June 2000. http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Herschel/SEM8600P4HD_0.html. Retrieved 22 July 2010.
- "ESA launches Herschel and Planck space telescopes". Euronews. http://www.euronews.net/2009/05/14/esa-launches-herschel-and-planck-space-telescopes. Retrieved 3 December 2010.
- Amos, Jonathan (14 June 2009). "ESA launches Herschel and Planck space telescopes". BBC. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8099105.stm. Retrieved 3 December 2010.
- "ESA launches Herschel and Planck space telescopes". Aerospaceguide. http://www.aerospaceguide.net/telescope/herschel.html. Retrieved 3 December 2010.
- ESA Science & Technology: Herschel. Retrieved on 28 July 2010
- "NSSDC Spacecraft Details: Herschel Space Observatory". NASA. http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/masterCatalog.do?sc=2009-026A. Retrieved 3 July 2010.
Other websites[change | edit source]
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Herschel (space telescope)|