Young Sun’s Violent History Solves Meteorite MysteryLearn MoreJuly 1, 2014 • News Feature
Astronomers using ESA’s Herschel space observatory to probe the turbulent beginnings of a Sun-like star have found evidence of mighty stellar winds that could solve a puzzling meteorite mystery in our own back yard.
In spite of their tranquil appearance in the night sky, stars are scorching furnaces that spring to life through tumultuous processes – and our 4.5 billion-year-old Sun is no exception. To glimpse its harsh early days, astronomers gather clues not only in the Solar System but also by studying young stars elsewhere in our Galaxy.
New Molecules Around Old StarsLearn MoreJune 17, 2014 • Partner News Feature
Using the Herschel Space Observatory, astronomers have discovered that a molecule vital for creating water exists in the burning embers of dying Sun-like stars.
When low- to middleweight stars like our Sun approach the end of their lives, they eventually become dense, white dwarf stars. In doing so, they cast off their outer layers of dust and gas into space, creating a kaleidoscope of intricate patterns known as planetary nebulas.
Herschel Sees Budding Stars and a Giant, Strange RingLearn MoreJune 12, 2014 • News Release
The Herschel Space Observatory has uncovered a weird ring of dusty material while obtaining one of the sharpest scans to date of a huge cloud of gas and dust, called NGC 7538. The observations have revealed numerous clumps of material, a baker's dozen of which may evolve into the most powerful kinds of stars in the universe.
Herschels Population of Trans-Neptunian ObjectsLearn MoreJune 9, 2014 • Featured Image
The Herschel Space Observatory has observed 132 of the known 1400 cold worlds that inhabit a region of the Solar System beyond the orbit of Neptune, some 4.57.5 billion km from the Sun.
These trans-Neptunian objects, or TNOs, include worlds such as Pluto, Eris, Haumea and Makemake, and make up a vast population of such objects thought to occupy these far-flung reaches of the Solar System.