External • December 13, 2012
Herschel has produced an intricate view of the remains of a star that died in a stellar explosion a millennium ago. It has provided further proof that the interstellar dust which lies throughout our Galaxy is created when massive stars reach the end of their lives.
Fireworks in the Early Universe
External • September 14, 2012
Galaxies in the early universe grew fast by rapidly making new stars. Such prodigious star formation episodes, characterized by the intense radiation of the newborn stars, were often accompanied by fireworks in the form of energy bursts caused by the massive central black hole accretion in these galaxies. This discovery by a group of astronomers led by Peter Barthel of the Kapteyn Institute of the University of Groningen in the Netherlands is published today in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.
Herschel Sees Intergalactic Bridge Aglow with Stars
News Release • May 17, 2012
The Herschel Space Observatory has discovered a giant, galaxy-packed filament ablaze with billions of new stars. The filament connects two clusters of galaxies that, along with a third cluster, will smash together and give rise to one of the largest galaxy superclusters in the universe.
Overfed Black Holes Shut Down Galactic Star-Making
News Release • May 9, 2012
The Herschel Space Observatory has shown galaxies with the most powerful, active black holes at their cores produce fewer stars than galaxies with less active black holes. The results are the first to demonstrate black holes suppressed galactic star formation when the universe was less than half its current age.
GOODS-Herschel Reveals Gas Mass Role in Creating Fireworks Versus Beacons of Star Formation
External • March 27, 2012
A study of galaxies in the deepest far-infrared image of the sky, obtained by the Herschel Space Observatory, highlights the two contrasting ways that stars formed in galaxies up to 12 billion years ago. Dr Georgios Magdis will present the results at the National Astronomy Meeting in Manchester.
Revisiting the 'Pillars of Creation'
Feature • January 18, 2012
In 1995, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope took an iconic image of the Eagle nebula, dubbed the "Pillars of Creation," highlighting its finger-like pillars where new stars are thought to be forming. Now, the Herschel Space Observatory has a new, expansive view of the region captured in longer-wavelength infrared light.
Herschel and Spitzer See Nearby Galaxies' Stardust
News Release • January 10, 2012
The cold dust that builds blazing stars is revealed in new images that combine observations from the Herschel Space Observatory and Spitzer Space Telescope. The new images map the dust in the galaxies known as the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, two of the closest neighbors to our own Milky Way galaxy.
Herschel Finds Oceans of Water in Disk of Nearby Star
News Release • October 20, 2011
Using data from the Herschel Space Observatory, astronomers have detected for the first time cold water vapor enveloping a dusty disk around a young star. The findings suggest that this disk, which is poised to develop into a solar system, contains great quantities of water, suggesting that water-covered planets like Earth may be common in the universe.
Space Observatory Provides Clues to Creation of Earth's Oceans
News Release • October 5, 2011
Astronomers have found a new cosmic source for the same kind of water that appeared on Earth billions of years ago and created the oceans. The findings may help explain how Earth's surface ended up covered in water.
Herschel Telescope Detects Oxygen Molecules in Space
News Release • August 1, 2011
The Herschel Space Observatory's large telescope and state-of-the-art infrared detectors have provided the first confirmed finding of oxygen molecules in space. The molecules were discovered in the Orion star-forming complex.
Herschel Helps Solve Mystery Of Cosmic Dust Origins
News Release • July 7, 2011
New observations from the infrared Herschel Space Observatory reveal that an exploding star expelled the equivalent of between 160,000 and 230,000 Earth masses of fresh dust. This enormous quantity suggests that exploding stars, called supernovae, are the answer to the long-standing puzzle of what supplied our early universe with dust.
Young Star Shooting Water Bullets
External • June 21, 2011
Observations with Herschel-HIFI of water in a young Sun-like star reveal high-velocity bullets moving at more than 200,000 kmh from the star. This can be compared to the velocity of a bullet from an AK47 rifle, which is 2500 kmh or 80 times slower.
Herschel Space Observatory Discovers the Clearing Out of Star-Forming Gas in Mergers of Gas-Rich Galaxies
External • May 9, 2011
Herschel Space Observatory has detected massive amounts of molecular gas gusting at high velocities - in some cases in excess of 1000 kilometers per second - from the centers of a sample of merging galaxies.
Caught in the Act: Cascading Material Pours onto a Young Star
External • April 21, 2011
Astronomer Joel Green of The University of Texas at Austin has been following a rare massive flare from a nascent star similar to the early Sun using the European Space Agency's infrared Herschel Space Observatory and a cadre of other telescopes.
RAS Honours Outstanding Astronomers and Geophysicists
External • January 14, 2011
The Royal Astronomical Society (RAS), the UK’s voice for professional astronomers and geophysicists today announced the recipients of the Society’s medals and awards for 2011. The prizes honour individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to astronomy and geophysics and will be given out at the 2011 National Astronomy Meeting to be held in Llandudno, Wales, in April.
Herschel's Hidden Talent: Digging Up Magnified Galaxies
News Release • November 4, 2010
It turns out the Herschel Space Observatory has a trick up its sleeve. The telescope, a European Space Agency mission with important NASA contributions, has proven to be excellent at finding magnified, faraway galaxies.
Herschel Finds Water in a Cosmic Desert
Feature • September 1, 2010
The Herschel infrared space observatory has discovered that ultraviolet starlight is the key ingredient for making water in space. It is the only explanation for why a dying star is surrounded by a gigantic cloud of hot water vapor. Herschel is a European Space Agency mission with important participation from NASA.
Special Issue of Astronomy and Astrophysics Dedicated to Herschel's First Results
External • July 16, 2010
The first scientific results obtained with Herschel are appearing, this week, in a special issue of the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics. Based on data collected during the first few months of operations with this ESA observatory, the 152 new publications tackle a multitude of different astrophysical subjects, ranging from nearby Solar System bodies through newly-forming stars in our Galaxy, all the way to very distant galaxies.
Herschel Reveals Details of Distant Galaxies and Quasars
External • July 1, 2010
Amazing new data captured by ESA’s Herschel Space Observatory – carrying the largest mirror ever launched into space - have just been publicly released, allowing the World’s astronomers to share in the Herschel SPIRE instrument’s observations of distant galaxies.
Bright Galaxies Like to Stick Together
Feature • May 27, 2010
Astronomers using the European Space Agency's Herschel telescope have discovered that the brightest galaxies tend to be in the busiest parts of the Universe. This crucial piece of information will enable theorists to fix up their theories of galaxy formation.
Herschel Reveals the Hidden Side of Star Birth
News Release • May 6, 2010
The first scientific results from ESA's Herschel infrared space observatory are revealing previously hidden details of star formation. New images show thousands of distant galaxies furiously building stars and beautiful star-forming clouds draped across the Milky Way.
Herschel Readies Itself for the Orion Nebula
Announcement • January 20, 2010
ESA’s Herschel observatory is back to full operation following the reactivation of its HIFI instrument. HIFI, having been offline for 160 days while engineers investigated an unexpected problem in the electronic system, is now perfectly placed to resume its study of forming stars and planets.
Herschel's Multi-Hued View of the Sky
Feature • October 2, 2009
A new image from the Herschel Space Observatory shows off the observatory's talents for seeing multiple wavelengths of light. The infrared observatory, a European Space Agency mission with important participation from NASA, can use two science instruments simultaneously to see five different "colors" of infrared, which is light that we can't see with our eyes.
Herschel Opens Its Infrared Eyes
Feature • June 27, 2009
The Herschel Space Observatory has snapped its first picture since blasting into space on May 14, 2009. The mission, led by the European Space Agency with important participation from NASA, will use infrared light to explore our cosmic roots, addressing questions of how stars and galaxies are born.