Building Blocks of Life's Building Blocks Come From StarlightLearn MoreOctober 12, 2016 • Feature
Life exists in a myriad of wondrous forms, but if you break any organism down to its most basic parts, it's all the same stuff: carbon atoms connected to hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and other elements. But how these fundamental substances are created in space has been a longstanding mystery.
NASA Team Probes Peculiar Age-Defying StarLearn MoreAugust 29, 2016 • News Feature
For years, astronomers have puzzled over a massive star lodged deep in the Milky Way that shows conflicting signs of being extremely old and extremely young.
Researchers initially classified the star as elderly, perhaps a red supergiant. But a new study by a NASA-led team of researchers suggests that the object, labeled IRAS 19312+1950, might be something quite different -- a protostar, a star still in the making.
New Herschel Maps & Catalogues Reveal Stellar Nurseries Across the Galactic PlaneLearn MoreApril 22, 2016 • News Release
ESA's Herschel mission releases today a series of unprecedented maps of star-forming hubs in the plane of our Milky Way galaxy. This is accompanied by a set of catalogues listing hundreds of thousands of compact sources that span all phases leading to the birth of stars in our Galaxy. These maps and catalogues will be very valuable resources for astronomers, to exploit scientifically and for planning follow-up studies of particularly interesting regions in the Galactic Plane.
Suzaku, Herschel Link a Black Hole 'Wind' to a Galactic Gush of Star-forming GasLearn MoreSeptember 3, 2015 • News Feature
The Herschel and Planck project teams are this year's recipients of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Space Systems Award. Both space missions were led by the European Space Agency (ESA), with important participation from NASA.
This award is presented annually by the AIAA to recognize outstanding achievements in the architecture, analysis, design and implementation of space systems.
Herschels View of G49 FilamentLearn MoreMay 28, 2015 • Featured Image
New images of huge filamentary structures of gas and dust from the Herschel space observatory reveal how matter is distributed across our Milky Way galaxy. Long and flimsy threads emerge from a twisted mix of material, taking on complex shapes.
This image shows a filament called G49, which contains 80,000 suns' worth of mass. This huge but slender structure of gas and dust extends about 280 light-years in length, while its diameter is only about 5 light-years across.