Author Topic: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates  (Read 63652 times)

Offline Mark Max Q

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Offline jacqmans

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #1 on: 05/21/2009 06:59 PM »
Herschel and Planck commissioning has begun
 
21 May 2009

After a perfect injection by the Ariane 5 launcher on 14 May, the critical Launch and Early Orbit Phase (LEOP) for Herschel and Planck has started to wind down, while commissioning of the scientific instruments and subsystems on both spacecraft has begun.

http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEMKN80OWUF_index_0.html

Offline IW1DGG

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #2 on: 05/28/2009 08:54 AM »
Yesterday, 27May both were already at 1million km from the Earth...
did you know that MPLMs, Node 2&3, Columbus Structure, ATV pressurised section and Cupola (50 % of the ISS) have been built in Torino?....

Offline jacqmans

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #3 on: 06/05/2009 03:15 PM »
Planck satellite manoeuvre aims at L2 arrival
 
5 June 2009
Beginning today, ESA's Planck satellite will carry out a critical mid-course manoeuvre that will place the satellite on its final trajectory for arrival at L2, the second Lagrange point of the Sun-Earth system, early in July.

http://asimov.esrin.esa.int/esaCP/SEMVHHVTGVF_index_0.html

Offline missinglink

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #4 on: 06/05/2009 09:31 PM »
I hope this works as planned... survey of cosmic microwave background could lead to an equally big breakthrough as WMAP...

Offline bolun

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #5 on: 06/14/2009 07:47 PM »

Europe's Herschel space observatory, has achieved a critical milestone.

The telescope has opened the hatch that has been protecting its sensitive instruments from contamination.

The procedure allowed light collected by Herschel's giant 3.5m mirror to flood its supercold instrument chamber, or cryostat, for the first time.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8099105.stm


Offline cb6785

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #6 on: 06/19/2009 01:42 PM »
Herschel has captured it's first image! It's an image of galaxy M51.

http://www.dlr.de/en/desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-1/86_read-18016/
You know, if I’d had a seat you wouldn’t still see me in this thing. - Chuck Yeager

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Offline jacqmans

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #7 on: 06/19/2009 01:48 PM »
Herschel opened its 'eyes' on 14 June and the Photoconductor Array Camera and Spectrometer obtained images of M51, 'the whirlpool galaxy' for a first test observation. Scientists obtained images in three colours from the observation, which clearly demonstrate the superiority of Herschel, the largest infrared space telescope ever flown.

More at:
http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Herschel/SEM76A0P0WF_0.html

Offline jacqmans

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #8 on: 07/03/2009 02:40 PM »
Coolest spacecraft ever in orbit around L2
3 July 2009

Yesterday, the detectors of Planck's High Frequency Instrument reached their amazingly low operational temperature of -273°C, making them the coldest known objects in space. The spacecraft also entered orbit around the second Lagrange point of the Sun-Earth system, L2.

http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEM0Y5S7NWF_index_0.html

Offline jacqmans

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #9 on: 07/10/2009 09:56 AM »
Herschel has carried out the first test observations with all its instruments, with spectacular results. Galaxies, star-forming regions and dying stars comprised the telescope's first targets. The instruments provided spectacular data on their first attempt, finding water and carbon and revealing dozens of distant galaxies.

More at:
http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Herschel/SEMAYT6CTWF_0.html

Offline Chris611

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #10 on: 09/04/2009 07:52 PM »
Setback HIFI

The HIFI-spectrometer aboard the European space telescope Herschel – which was launched May 14 - is experiencing a setback. The space instrument is temporarily switched off due to a problem in the so-called Local Oscillator Control Unit. The cause of the problem is still unclear. Extensive tests – now with the additional assistance of an ESA team – will have to come up with an answer. When it is considered safe, the back up system will be switched on, after which a fully functional HIFI will resume the search for the presence of water in remote parts of the Universe.

More (in Dutch)

Offline Mighty-T

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #11 on: 09/05/2009 02:38 PM »
Just noted that someone put the full launch replay on youtube displaying the recordings of all the pad-cameras. It includes some amazing shots:



P.S. I put it here since the Ariane-5 thread with the launch of Herschel/Planck is locked.

Offline catfry

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #12 on: 09/05/2009 03:39 PM »
That is pure porn, thank you for that. They seem to have a number of cameras very close to the launcher, I wonder if they couldn't place them farther away with a bigger zoom. some of them are getting pretty badly blown around by the rocket exhaust.

Offline jacqmans

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #13 on: 09/17/2009 02:05 PM »
Planck, ESA's mission to study the early Universe, started surveying the sky regularly from its vantage point at the second Lagrange point of the Sun-Earth system, L2, on 13 August. The instruments were fine-tuned for optimum performance in the period preceding this date. In preparation for routine scientific operations, their long-term stability was verified by conducting a first trial survey.

More at:
http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Planck/SEM5CMFWNZF_0.html

Offline jacqmans

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #14 on: 10/02/2009 11:19 AM »
Herschel has delivered spectacular vistas of cold gas clouds lying near the plane of the Milky Way, revealing intense, unexpected activity. The dark, cool region is dotted with stellar factories, like pearls on a cosmic string.

Read more at:
http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Herschel/SEMUABGNA0G_0.html

Offline catfry

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #15 on: 10/13/2009 07:58 AM »
found this:

HIFI one step closer to switch-on    
04 Oct 2009
Scientists of SRON and ESA are now closing in on the cause of the problem with the high resolution spectrometer HIFI on board ESA's  Herschel Space observatory. A series of events which is currently being investigated has most probably led to an overload in some components in a DC/DC converter. This caused a malfunction in the so-called Local Oscillator Control Unit (LCU). The back up system will be switched on when SRON and ESA are confident that all conceivable measures have been taken to prevent this chain of events from happening again. HIFI will then resume the search for the presence of water in remote parts of the universe.

After Herschel was launched on 14 May HIFI functioned perfectly for almost three months. A wealth of highly promising scientific data was obtained during the commissioning phase, until August 3d, when an anomaly occurred in the Local Oscillator Control Unit (LCU), a control module for the self-generated local oscillator signal (see below). HIFI was temporarily switched off to determine the exact cause of the problem. But as the "black box" of the module failed also, this proved difficult and time-consuming. Extensive tests by HIFI and ESA teams – in which scenarios are tested that could reproduce the chain of events – are now underpinning the above mentioned scenario.

HIFI will be fully operational again when the back up system is switched on. However, this will only be done when the most benign environment to the electronics involved (temperature conditioning, preventing radical state changes etc.) is firmly established. This should insure a satisfactory operating lifetime of the back up system. Scientists are also working on a scheme (switching on, re-commission of the redundant branch, and then utilising HIFI in a prioritized science programme before going into routine operations) in order to  maximise the scientific impact of the instrument.


Back up system
Dr. Frank Helmich,  principal investigator for HIFI: “Although I expect the back up system to function during the complete lifetime of the Herschel mission, a good tradition in space science is that you take every possible risk very seriously. In the case of HIFI-LCU we are going through a very thorough test program on the ground before switch-on, aimed at reproducing the chain of events that led to the malfunction and to test any measure applicable. Furthermore, the science observations are rescheduled in such a way that the most crucial observations will be done as early as possible after the switch-on."

Herschel is still mostly in the performance verification phase, although the first science observations of the two other instruments have been done. Currently switch-on is envisaged over one month from now. HIFI – the Heterodyne Measuring instrument for the Far Infrared – is investigating the composition of interstellar gas clouds and measures, for example, how much carbon and water these contain. The wealth of detail HIFI is expected to deliver will tell us more about the birth and early development of stars and planets. HIFI shall also make measurements of the atmosphere of planets and comets in our solar system.

Mixed signal
The far-infrared light observed by HIFI has a very high frequency, and is very hard to detect and process. Therefore in HIFI the sky signal (terahertz radiation) is mixed with the local oscillator signal that is generated within HIFI . The mixed signal  has a much lower frequency but still contains all scientific information and can then be easily processed. HIFI was designed and built by a nationally-funded consortium led by SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research. The consortium includes institutes from France, Germany, USA, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Taiwan."


http://www.sron.nl/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2397&Itemid=588
« Last Edit: 10/13/2009 08:00 AM by catfry »

Offline catfry

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #16 on: 11/04/2009 09:19 AM »
Found this:

Consistent failure scenario for HIFI    

26 Oct 2009
The international team that investigates the problems with the Dutch space instrument HIFI on board the ESA space telescope Herschel has arrived at a complete and consistent failure scenario. A "chain of events" resulted in an overload in one of the power converters of the Local Oscillator Control Unit (LCU), which controls the signal artificially generated within the instrument, causing a permanent failure of one of the diodes.

.....
the investigation team is confident that the back up system can perform nominally for the remainder of the mission provided a number of corrective actions are implemented. Before the restart of the back up system, changes in the operation an protection logic of the instrument will be implemented in the on-board software to prevent re-occurrence of the sequence of events.


http://www.sron.nl/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2412&Itemid=754

Offline missinglink

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #17 on: 12/17/2009 01:50 PM »
BBC News shows images taken by Herschel: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8416263.stm

Offline hop

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #18 on: 12/17/2009 07:25 PM »
There's now a dedicated site for Herschel images http://oshi.esa.int/ Only 3 up so far, but this is going to be good ;)

Offline bolun

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #19 on: 01/15/2010 05:35 PM »

Herschel space telescope restored to full health

Herschel Space Telescope is fully operational again after engineers brought its damaged instrument back online.

The observatory's HiFi spectrometer was turned off just three months into the mission because of an anomaly that was probably triggered by space radiation.

The Dutch-led consortium that operates HiFi has now switched the instrument across to its reserve electronics.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8458203.stm


Offline robertross

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #20 on: 01/15/2010 06:03 PM »
Great news! Thanks.
Remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our rights & freedoms, and for those injured, visible or otherwise, in that fight.

Offline jacqmans

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #21 on: 01/19/2010 09:31 PM »
Herschel readies itself for the Orion Nebula
 
19 January 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.

[corrected]
http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEMWIOOJH4G_index_0.html

Offline jacqmans

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #22 on: 03/17/2010 09:17 AM »
Planck sees tapestry of cold dust

17 March 2010
Giant filaments of cold dust stretching through our Galaxy are revealed in a new image from ESA Planck satellite. Analysing these structures could help to determine the forces that shape our Galaxy and trigger star formation.

http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Planck/SEMMN9CKP6G_0.html

Offline jacqmans

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #23 on: 03/17/2010 09:04 PM »
Image Advisory: 2010-087                                                                 March 17, 2010

Planck Mission Images Galactic Web of Cold Dust

The full version of this story with accompanying images is at:
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2010-087&cid=release_2010-087

Tendrils of the coldest stuff in our galaxy can be seen in a new, large image from Planck, a mission surveying the whole sky to learn more about the birth of our universe.

Planck, a European Space Agency-led mission with important participation from NASA, launched into space in May 2009 from Kourou, French Guiana. The space telescope has almost finished its first of at least four separate scans of the entire sky, a voluminous task that will be completed in early 2012.

The new image, available online at: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/planck/pia12964.html, highlights a swath of our Milky Way galaxy occupying about one-thirteenth of the entire sky. It shows the bright band of our galaxy's spiral disk amidst swirling clouds where gas and dust mix together and, sometimes, ignite to form new stars. The data were taken in the so-called far-infrared portion of the light spectrum, using two of nine different frequencies available on Planck.

"We've got huge amounts of data streaming down from space," said Ulf Israelsson, the NASA project manager for the mission at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. "The intricate process of sorting through all of it has begun."

The mission's primary objective is to map the cosmic microwave background -- relic radiation left over from the Big Bang that created our universe about 13.7 billion years ago.  Planck's state-of-the-art technology will provide the most detailed information yet about the size, mass, age, geometry, composition and fate of the universe.

In addition to cosmological questions like these, the mission will address such astronomy topics as star formation and galactic structure. Its observations will be used in synergy with data from other missions, such as the Herschel Space Observatory, another ESA mission with important NASA participation, and NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

"Planck is the first big cosmology mission that will also have a large impact on our understanding of our galaxy, the Milky Way," said Charles Lawrence, the mission's NASA project scientist at JPL. "We can see the cold dust and gas that permeate our galaxy on very large scales, while other missions like Herschel can zoom in to see the detail."

Planck is scheduled to release a first batch of astronomy data, called the Early Release Compact Source Catalog, in Jan. 2011. Cosmology results on the first two years' worth of data are expected to be released in Dec. 2012.

Planck is a European Space Agency mission, with significant participation from NASA. NASA's Planck Project Office is based at JPL. JPL contributed mission-enabling technology for both of Planck's science instruments. European, Canadian, U.S. and NASA Planck scientists will work together to analyze the Planck data. More information

Offline jacqmans

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #24 on: 04/12/2010 10:14 PM »
News release: 2010-122                                                                     April 12, 2010

Herschel Reveals Ripening Stars Near Rosette Nebula

The full version of this story with accompanying images is at:
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2010-122&cid=release_2010-122

The Herschel Space Observatory has uncovered a cosmic garden of budding stars, each expected to grow to 10 times the mass of our sun.

The new image can be seen online at http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/herschel/hersch20100412a.html. It was taken using infrared light by Herschel, a European Space Agency mission with important NASA participation.

"Herschel can see through cold thickets of dust to where big, baby stars are forming," said Paul Goldsmith, the NASA project scientist for the mission at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

The image shows most of the cloud associated with the Rosette nebula, located about 5,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Monoceros, the Unicorn. The region contains a family of growing stars, with the oldest and most massive members in the center of the nebula, and younger and less massive generations located farther out in the associated cloud. The nebula's cluster of the most massive stars, located beyond the right edge of the picture, is responsible for hollowing out the cavity. There's enough dust and gas in the entire Rosette cloud to make about 10,000 suns.

The large, embryonic stars uncovered by Herschel are thought to be a younger generation. They are located inside the tips of pillars that appear to branch out from thicker cloud material. The pillars were, in fact, excavated by the nebula's massive star cluster. Winds and radiation from those stars pushed less dense material away from the pillars, and probably triggered the birth of the big stars inside the finger-like structures. In fact, the pillars point to the location of the massive nebula stars.

The intermediate-mass stellar embryos, each a couple of times as massive as the sun, are located in the redder regions of the image. The small spots near the center of the image are lower-mass embryonic stars, similar in mass to the sun.

Astronomers study regions like the Rosette not only to learn how stars form in our Milky Way, but also to get a better idea of what's going on in distant galaxies. When astronomers look at faraway galaxies, they are seeing light from regions that are bursting with massive stars. In order to compare our galaxy to distant ones, it is therefore important to understand high-mass star formation.

Herschel collects the infrared light from dust. The infrared light is color-coded as follows: light with a wavelength of 70 microns is blue; 160-micron light is green; and 250-micron light is red. The observations were made with Herschel's Photoconductor Array Camera and Spectrometer and the Spectral and Photometric Imaging Receiver instruments.

The principal investigator of this research is Frédérique Motte of the French National Center of Scientific Research and Atomic and Alternative Energies Center, Paris-Saclay, France (see http://hobys-herschel.cea.fr ). Motte was a postdoctoral fellow at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

Herschel is a European Space Agency cornerstone mission, with science instruments provided by a consortia of European institutes and with important participation by NASA. NASA's Herschel Project Office is based at JPL. JPL contributed mission-enabling technology for two of Herschel's three science instruments. The NASA Herschel Science Center, part of the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at Caltech in Pasadena, supports the U.S. astronomical community. Caltech manages JPL for NASA.

More information is online at http://www.herschel.caltech.edu , http://www.nasa.gov/herschel and http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Herschel/index.html .

Offline jacqmans

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #25 on: 04/12/2010 10:20 PM »
Baby stars in the Rosette cloud

12 April 2010
Herschel's latest image reveals the formation of previously unseen large stars, each one up to ten times the mass of our Sun. These are the stars that will influence where and how the next generation of stars are formed. The image is a new release of 'OSHI', ESA's Online Showcase of Herschel Images.

http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEMWQ59MT7G_index_0.html

Offline jacqmans

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #26 on: 04/26/2010 09:23 PM »
Feature                                                                           April 26, 2010

Planck Sees a Cold and Stormy Orion

The full version of this story with accompanying images is at:
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2010-139&cid=release_2010-139

The big hunter in the sky is seen in a new light by Planck, a European Space Agency mission with significant NASA participation. The long-wavelength image shows most of the constellation Orion, highlighting turbid clouds of cold material, where new stars are being stirred into existence.

The Planck mission is busy surveying the whole sky at longer wavelengths of light than we can see with our eyes, ranging from infrared to even longer-wavelength microwaves. It is collecting ancient light, from the very beginning of time, to learn more about the birth and fate of our universe. In the process, the mission is gathering data on our Milky Way galaxy that astronomers are using to see through cold pools of gas and dust, which block visible-light views of star formation.

The new image is online at: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/planck/planckorion20100426.html.  It shows one such region in our Milky Way, where stars are actively bursting to life. The much-photographed Orion nebula is the bright spot to the lower center. The bright spot to the right of center is around the Horsehead Nebula, so called because at high magnifications a pillar of dust resembles a horse's head. The whole view covers a square patch of sky equivalent to 26 by 26 moons.

"Because Planck is mapping the whole sky, we can capture mosaics of huge regions of the Milky Way," said Charles Lawrence, the NASA project scientist for Planck at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "We are seeing the coldest material in star-forming regions, where stars are at the very earliest stages of formation."

The giant red arc of Barnard's Loop is thought to be the blast wave from a star that blew up inside the region about two million years ago. The bubble it created is now about 300 light-years across.

The picture shows light resulting from two different types of radiation. At the lowest frequencies, Planck primarily maps emission from ionized gas heated by newly formed hot stars. At higher frequencies, Planck maps the meager heat emitted by extremely cold dust. This can reveal the coldest cores in the clouds, which are approaching the final stages of collapse, before they are reborn as full-fledged stars.

Another new image from Planck shows a similar, yet less vigorous star-forming area called Perseus. It is online at: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/planck/planckperseus20100426.html.

Planck is a European Space Agency mission, with significant participation from NASA. NASA's Planck Project Office is based at JPL. JPL contributed mission-enabling technology for both of Planck's science instruments. European, Canadian, U.S. and NASA Planck scientists will work together to analyze the Planck data. More information is online at http://www.nasa.gov/planck and http://www.esa.int/planck .


Offline jacqmans

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #27 on: 04/26/2010 09:24 PM »
26 April 2010 - New images from ESA’s Planck space observatory reveal the forces driving star formation and give astronomers a way to understand the complex physics that shape the dust and gas in our Galaxy.

Full story:
http://www.esa.int/esaSC/SEM0FVF098G_index_0.html

Offline jacqmans

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #28 on: 05/05/2010 08:37 AM »
Paris, 5 May 2010

Webcast: Herschel Results Media Event live from ESA/ESTEC, 6 May 12:00-13:40 CEST
 
Watch a webcast of the Herschel First Results Media Day on 6 May starting at 12:00 CEST. The programme features live coverage of the 'First Results' presentations by ESA's Director of Science and Robotic Exploration and Herschel scientists.

The event will take place at Space Expo, at ESA's European Space Research and Technology Centre, Noordwijk, The Netherlands and on http://www.esa.int/

More information including programme schedule here: http://www.esa.int/esaSC/SEMBQ1HMI8G_index_0.html

Note: Shortly after the end of the live webcast, the event will be available as video-on-demand together with all presentations

Offline jacqmans

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #29 on: 05/11/2010 08:52 PM »
Herschel finds a hole in space
 
11 May 2010
ESA's Herschel infrared space telescope has made an unexpected discovery: a hole in space. The hole has provided astronomers with a surprising glimpse into the end of the star-forming process.

http://www.esa.int/export/esaCP/SEMFEAKPO8G_index_0.html

Offline jacqmans

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #30 on: 05/11/2010 08:53 PM »
News release: 2010-155                                                                      May 11, 2010

Herschel Finds a Hole in Space

The full version of this story with accompanying images is at:
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2010-155&cid=release_2010-155

The Herschel Space Observatory has made an unexpected discovery: a gaping hole in the clouds surrounding a batch of young stars. The hole has provided astronomers with a surprising glimpse into the end of the star-forming process.

Stars are born hidden in dense clouds of dust and gas, which can now be studied in remarkable detail with Herschel, a European Space Agency mission with important NASA participation. Although jets and winds of gas have been seen streaming from young stars in the past, it has always been a mystery exactly how a star uses the jets to blow away its surroundings and emerge from its birth cloud. For the first time, Herschel may be seeing an unexpected step in this process.

A cloud of bright reflective gas known to astronomers as NGC 1999 sits next to a black patch of sky. For most of the 20th century, such black patches were known to be dense clouds of dust and gas that block light from passing through.

When Herschel looked in its direction to study nearby young stars, astronomers were surprised to see the cloud continued to look black, which shouldn't have been the case. Herschel's infrared eyes are designed to see into such clouds. Either the cloud was immensely dense or something was wrong.

Investigating further using ground-based telescopes, astronomers found the same story no matter how they looked: this patch looks black not because it is a dense pocket of gas but because it is truly empty. Something has blown a hole right through the cloud.

"No one has ever seen a hole like this," says Tom Megeath of the University of Toledo, Ohio, the principal investigator of the research. "It's as surprising as knowing you have worms tunneling under your lawn, but finding one morning that they have created a huge, yawning pit."

The astronomers think that the hole must have been opened when the narrow jets of gas from some of the young stars in the region punctured the sheet of dust and gas that forms NGC 1999. The powerful radiation from a nearby adolescent star may also have helped to clear the hole. Whatever the precise chain of events, it could be an important glimpse into the way newborn stars rip apart their birth clouds.

Other members of the research team include Thomas Stanke of the European Southern Observatory, Germany; Amy Stutz of the Max-Planck Institute for Astronomy, Germany, and the Steward Observatory, Tucson; John Tobin of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Lori Allen of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, Tucson; Ali Babar of the NASA Herschel Science Center at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena; and Will Fischer and Erin Kryukova, University of Toledo, Ohio.

Herschel is a European Space Agency cornerstone mission, with science instruments provided by consortia of European institutes and with important participation by NASA. NASA's Herschel Project Office is based at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. JPL contributed mission-enabling technology for two of Herschel's three science instruments. The NASA Herschel Science Center, part of the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, supports the United States astronomical community. Caltech manages JPL for NASA.

More information is online at http://www.herschel.caltech.edu , http://www.nasa.gov/herschel and http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Herschel/index.html .



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Offline jacqmans

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #31 on: 07/05/2010 08:30 AM »
Paris, 02 July

Planck unveils the Universe - now and then

ESA PR 15-2010: ESA's Planck mission has delivered its first all-sky image. It not only provides
new insight into the way stars and galaxies form but also tells us how the
Universe itself came to life after the Big Bang.
"This is the moment that Planck was conceived for," says ESA Director of Science
and Robotic Exploration, David Southwood. "We're not giving the answer. We
are opening the door to an Eldorado where scientists can seek the nuggets that
will lead to deeper understanding of how our Universe came to be and how
it works now. The image itself and its remarkable quality is a tribute to the
engineers who built and have operated Planck. Now the scientific harvest must
begin."
From the closest portions of the Milky Way to the furthest reaches of space and
time, the new all-sky Planck image is an extraordinary treasure chest of new data
for astronomers.
The main disc of our Galaxy runs across the centre of the image. Immediately
striking are the streamers of cold dust reaching above and below the Milky Way.
This galactic web is where new stars are being formed, and Planck has found
many locations where individual stars are edging toward birth or just beginning
their cycle of development.
Less spectacular but perhaps more intriguing is the mottled backdrop at the top
and bottom. This is the 'cosmic microwave background radiation' (CMBR). It
is the oldest light in the Universe, the remains of the fireball out of which our
Universe sprang into existence 13.7 billion years ago.
While the Milky Way shows us what the local Universe looks like now, those
The microwave pattern is the cosmic blueprint from which today's clusters and
superclusters of galaxies were built. The different colours represent minute
differences in the temperature and density of matter across the sky. Somehow
these small irregularities evolved into denser regions that became the galaxies of
today.
The CMBR covers the entire sky but most of it is hidden in this image by the
Milky Way's emission, which must be digitally removed from the final data in
order to see the microwave background in its entirety.
When this work is completed, Planck will show us the most precise picture of
the microwave background ever obtained. The big question will be whether the
data will reveal the cosmic signature of the primordial period called inflation.
This era is postulated to have taken place just after the Big Bang and resulted
in the Universe expanding enormously in size over an extremely short period.
Planck continues to map the Universe. By the end of its mission in 2012, it will
have completed four all-sky scans. The first full data release of the CMBR is
planned for 2012. Before then, the catalogue containing individual objects in our
Galaxy and whole distant galaxies will be released in January 2011.
"This image is just a glimpse of what Planck will ultimately see," says Jan
Tauber, ESA's Planck Project Scientist.

Contacts:
Jan Tauber, ESA Planck Project Scientist
Science and Robotic Exploration Directorate, ESA, The Netherlands

Offline Space Pete

Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #32 on: 07/05/2010 03:12 PM »
Wow - take a look at the image in this article! Truly amazing! :o

BBC News: "Planck telescope reveals ancient cosmic light".
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/science_and_environment/10501154.stm

-----
EDIT:

Here's a Hi-res version of the amazing image!
www.esa.int/images/PLANCK_FSM_03_Black.jpg
« Last Edit: 07/05/2010 04:22 PM by Space Pete »
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Offline Space Pete

Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #33 on: 07/18/2010 12:30 PM »
Astronomy and Astrophysics have published Herschel's first science highlights.
www.aanda.org/index.php?option=com_toc&url=/articles/aa/abs/2010/10/contents/contents.html
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Offline Space Pete

Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #34 on: 09/01/2010 06:30 PM »
JPL: "Herschel Finds Water in a Cosmic Desert".

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.

Every recipe needs a secret ingredient. When astronomers discovered an unexpected cloud of water vapor around the old star IRC+10216 using NASA's Submillimeter Wave Astronomy Satellite in 2001, they immediately began searching for the source. Stars like IRC+10216 are known as carbon stars and are thought not to make much water. Initially they suspected the star's heat must be evaporating comets or even dwarf planets to produce the water.

Now, Herschel has revealed that the secret ingredient is ultraviolet light, because the water is too hot to have come from the destruction of icy celestial bodies.

"Models predict that there should be no water in the envelopes around stars like this, so astronomers were puzzled about how it got there," said Paul Goldsmith, the NASA project scientist for Herschel at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. "These Herschel observations confirm the surprising presence of water vapor in what we thought was an astronomical desert."

This research, which was led by Leen Decin of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, appears in the Sept. 2 issue of Nature.

Herschel is a European Space Agency cornerstone mission, with science instruments provided by consortia of European institutes and with important participation by NASA. NASA's Herschel Project Office is based at JPL. JPL contributed mission-enabling technology for two of Herschel's three science instruments. The NASA Herschel Science Center, part of the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, supports the United States astronomical community. Caltech manages JPL for NASA.

More information is online at www.herschel.caltech.edu, www.nasa.gov/herschel and www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Herschel/index.html.

----------

BBC News: "Old star wallows in 'steam bath'".
« Last Edit: 09/02/2010 03:24 PM by Space Pete »
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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #35 on: 09/02/2010 10:00 AM »
Recipe for water: just add starlight
 
2 September 2010
ESA's 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 vapour.

http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Herschel/SEMW76EODDG_0.html

Offline Space Pete

Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #36 on: 09/15/2010 08:55 PM »
Planck's first glimpse at galaxy clusters and a new supercluster.

Surveying the microwave sky, Planck has obtained its very first images of galaxy clusters, amongst the largest objects in the Universe, by means of the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect, a characteristic signature they imprint on the Cosmic Microwave Background. Joining forces in a fruitful collaboration between ESA missions, XMM-Newton followed up Planck's detections and revealed that one of them is a previously unknown supercluster of galaxies.

Matter in the Universe is distributed in a highly clustered fashion; stars congregate in galaxies and galaxies clump together, forming enormous clusters surrounded by vast, empty spaces. Galaxy clusters can host up to a thousand galaxies and they are permeated by hot gas that shines brightly in X-rays; furthermore, most of their mass consists of dark matter. On an even grander scale are the superclusters, large assemblies of galaxy groups and clusters, located at the intersections of sheets and filaments in the wispy cosmic web. As clusters and superclusters trace the distribution of both luminous and dark matter throughout the Universe, their observation is crucial to probe how cosmic structures formed and evolved.

Planck's primary goal is to capture the most ancient light of the cosmos, the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB), and for this purpose it boasts a superb set of nine frequency channels, spanning the spectral range from 30 to 857 GHz. Such a broad spectral coverage is not only instrumental in removing all sources of contamination from the CMB, in order to deliver what will be the sharpest image of the early Universe ever achieved - it also makes Planck an excellent hunter of galaxy clusters.

In fact, the nine frequency channels were carefully chosen by the Planck team with a particular phenomenon, known as the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich Effect (SZE), very much in mind. This effect describes the change of energy experienced by CMB photons when they encounter a galaxy cluster as they travel towards us, in the process imprinting a distinctive signature on the CMB itself. Hence, the SZE represents a unique tool to detect galaxy clusters, even at high redshift.

"As the fossil photons from the Big Bang cross the Universe, they interact with the matter that they encounter: when travelling through a galaxy cluster, for example, the CMB photons scatter off free electrons present in the hot gas that fills the cluster," explains Nabila Aghanim of the Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale in Orsay, France, a leading member of the group of Planck scientists investigating SZE clusters and secondary anisotropies. "These collisions redistribute the frequencies of photons in a particular way that enables us to isolate the intervening cluster from the CMB signal."

Since the hot electrons in the cluster are much more energetic than the CMB photons, interactions between the two species typically result in the photons being scattered to higher energies. This means that, when looking at the CMB in the direction of a galaxy cluster, one observes a deficit, with respect to the average CMB signal, of low-energy photons and a surplus of more energetic ones. The threshold frequency, separating deficit and surplus, corresponds to 217 GHz. Planck's channels probe the spectrum both below and above this threshold, with one of them centred exactly on 217 GHz.

"With its unprecedented spectral coverage, Planck can detect both the positive and the negative signal of galaxy clusters, and is thus an exceptional tool to identify the locations of these enormous structures over the entire sky, and to measure their physical characteristics," says Jan Tauber, Planck Project Scientist, commenting on the first observations of the SZE in the Planck frequency bands. These first images include some clusters that are well known to astronomers, such as Coma, a very hot and nearby cluster extending over more than two degrees in the sky, and Abell 2319, another nearby cluster.

Planck's design, optimised for detecting the SZE signal from clusters scattered throughout the sky, is however not suited for in-depth investigations— its resolution is simply not sufficient to discern much detail for most of them, especially any newly discovered, high-redshift ones. Observations at other wavelengths are necessary to pin down the details of these massive structures. Since the hot gas in galaxy clusters emits copious amounts of X-rays, observations in this spectral band prove particularly useful as they probe the very same component responsible for producing the SZE.

In order to confirm their identity, Planck's cluster candidates are compared with existing catalogues of clusters, like the ROSAT all-sky X-ray catalogue of clusters. When the Planck candidates do not correspond to any known structure, and after careful quality checks of the SZ signal, they may become the target of brand new, follow-up observations with ESA's X-ray observatory, XMM-Newton.

"With its exceptional sensitivity, XMM-Newton is the ideal partner to follow-up the sources detected by Planck via the SZE," says Monique Arnaud, from the Service d'Astrophysique, Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique, France, who leads the Planck group following up sources with XMM-Newton. It is the special synergy between these two ESA missions that has allowed astronomers to use snapshot XMM-Newton observations to confirm that Planck's first detections are indeed clusters, and has revealed an even larger structure: a supercluster of galaxies.

"The XMM-Newton observations have shown that one of the candidate clusters is in fact a supercluster composed of at least three individual, massive clusters of galaxies, which Planck alone could not have resolved," explains Arnaud.

"The synergy between the two missions has proved extremely successful, and XMM-Newton will continue following up Planck detections in order to confirm the nature of the cluster candidates," says Norbert Schartel, XMM-Newton Project Scientist. In the future, XMM-Newton may conduct further, deeper observations of some of these clusters in order to measure their properties in greater detail.

"This is the first time that a supercluster has been discovered via the SZE," adds Aghanim. "This important discovery opens a brand new window on superclusters, one which complements the observations of the individual galaxies therein."

The SZ signal from the newly discovered supercluster arises from the sum of the signal from the three individual clusters, with a possible additional contribution from an inter-cluster filamentary structure. This provides important clues about the distribution of gas on very large scales which is, in turn, crucial also for tracing the underlying distribution of dark matter.

"These first detections, revealing both previously known clusters and brand new ones, show that Planck is working extremely well," comments Tauber. "Of course, this is only a preview of the numerous discoveries that will surely come along during the lifetime of the mission."

Notes for editors.

ESA’s Planck mission maps the sky in nine frequencies using two state-of-the-art instruments, designed to produce high-sensitivity, multi-frequency measurements of the diffuse sky radiation: the High Frequency Instrument (HFI) includes the frequency bands 100 - 857 GHz, and the Low Frequency Instrument (LFI) includes the frequency bands 30 - 70 GHz.

The first Planck all-sky survey began in mid-August 2009 and was completed in June 2010. Planck will continue to gather data until the end of 2011, during which time it will complete over four all-sky scans.

The Planck team is currently analysing the data from the first all-sky survey to identify both known and new galaxy clusters for the early Sunyaev-Zel'dovich catalogue, which will be released in January of 2011 as part of the Early Release Compact Source Catalogue. Companion scientific papers will accompany the catalogue.

The initial programme of follow-up observations using XMM-Newton, undertaken in Director's Discretionary Time, has the main goal of confirming the nature of a selected set of cluster candidates detected by Planck via the SZE.

Source (with accompanying images).
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Offline Space Pete

Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #37 on: 09/22/2010 10:44 PM »
HERSCHEL MARS OBSERVATIONS: FIRST RESULTS.

The Herschel Space Observatory is providing the first exciting results on Mars, from its guaranteed-time key program ‘Water and related chemistry in the Solar System'. An accurate globally-averaged temperature profile of the Martian atmosphere may cause scientists to revise their models about atmospheric circulation on Mars. The first sub-millimeter observation of molecular oxygen on the planet may lead to a completely new picture of the oxygen distribution in the Martian atmosphere. These are only a few of the new discoveries that will be presented by Dr. Paul Hartogh at the European Planetary Science Congress in Rome, on Monday 20th September.

The Herschel Space Observatory (HSO) is a space-borne far-infrared observation facility of the European Space Agency, launched on 14 May 2009. The “Water and related chemistry in the Solar System” project, was conceived with the sole aim to determine the origin, evolution, and distribution of water in Mars, the outer planets, Titan, Enceladus and the comets.

“Water vapor plays a key role in the Martian atmospheric chemistry and physics,” says Dr. Hartogh of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Germany. Herschel has observed Mars with its three instruments, the Heterodyne Instrument for the Far
Infrared (HIFI), the Photodetector Array Camera & Spectrometer, and the Spectral and Photometric Imaging Receiver (SPIRE).

SPIRE has provided the first continuous spectrum of the Martian atmosphere in the spectral range in the far-IR/sub-mm, as well as, the first complete set of water vapor and carbon monoxide (CO) content in this range. “SPIRE was designed for very faint sources, however unexpectedly it could even provide high quality data from the brightest far infrared object Herschel observed in the solar system,” says Dr. Hartogh.

HIFI has observed Mars between 11-16 April 2010. Only a small part of the data has been analyzed up to now, but it already provided some interesting results: A globally averaged temperature profile has been retrieved from the first simultaneous observations of two carbon monoxide isotopes. “The best fit of the Martian atmospheric model to these observations shows important differences compared to what we were predicting: between 40 and 80 km from the ground, the atmosphere appears to be more than 10 K colder than predicted,” says Dr. Hartogh.

Scientists also report on the first sub-mm detection of O2 on Mars, with an observational accuracy at least 10 times better than was done before. “Our sub-mm observations provide for the first time a vertical profile of molecular oxygen in the Martian atmosphere. We found that, contrary to the general assumption of a constant O2  content independently of altitude, the Martian atmosphere is richer in oxygen near the ground and then O2 decreases rapidly with altitude,” says Dr. Hartogh. If this profile is confirmed it may imply different oxygen production and loss processes not considered before, leading to new insights about the Martian atmosphere. “Obviously, much work still needs to be done on the vertical profile of O2 before we draw such conclusions,” he adds cautiously.

Herschel will continue exploring our solar system in the next 2–3 years of its planned mission duration. “We hope that surprises and major breakthroughs in our knowledge will keep coming in, and that at the end we will have gained a unified picture of the origin and evolution of water in the Solar System objects,” says Dr. Hartogh.


www.europlanet-eu.org/outreach/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=303&Itemid=1
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Offline jacqmans

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #38 on: 11/04/2010 07:23 PM »
News release: 2010-372                                                                     Nov. 04, 2010

Herschel's Hidden Talent: Digging Up Magnified Galaxies

The full version of this story with accompanying images is at:
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2010-372&cid=release_2010-372

PASADENA, Calif. -- 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. Like little kids probing patches of dirt for insects, astronomers can use these new cosmic magnifying lenses to study galaxies that are hidden in dust.

"I was surprised to learn that Herschel is so good at finding these cosmic lenses," said Asantha Cooray of the University of California, Irvine. "Locating new lenses is an arduous task that involves slogging through tons of data. With Herschel, we can find a lot of them much more efficiently." Cooray is a co-author of a paper about the discovery, appearing in the Nov. 5 issue of the journal Science. The lead author is Mattia Negrello of the Open University in the United Kingdom.

A cosmic magnifying lens occurs when a massive galaxy or cluster of galaxies bends light from a more distant galaxy into a warped and magnified image. Sometimes, a galaxy is so warped that it appears as a ring -- an object known as an Einstein ring after Albert Einstein who first predicted the phenomenon, referred to as gravitational lensing. The effect is similar to what happens when you look through the bottom of a soda bottle or into a funhouse mirror.

These lenses are incredibly powerful tools for studying the properties of distant galaxies as well as the mysterious stuff -- dark matter and dark energy -- that makes up a whopping 96 percent of our universe (see http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2010-272 ).

"With these lenses, we can do cosmology and study galaxies that are too distant and faint to be seen otherwise," said Cooray.

Cooray and a host of international researchers made the initial discovery using Herschel. Launched in May 2009, this space mission is designed to see longer-wavelength light than that we see with our eyes -- light in the far-infrared and submillimeter portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. Scanning Herschel images of thousands of galaxies, the researchers noticed five never-before-seen objects that jumped out as exceptionally bright.

At that time, the galaxies were suspected of being magnified by cosmic lenses, but careful and extensive follow-up observations were required. Numerous ground-based telescopes around the world participated in the campaign, including the National Radio Astronomy Observatory's Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia, and three telescopes in Hawaii: the W.M. Keck Observatory, the California Institute of Technology's Submillimeter Observatory, and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory's Submillimeter Array.

The results showed that all five of the bright galaxies were indeed being magnified by foreground galaxies. The galaxies are really far away -- they are being viewed at a time when the universe was only two to four billion years old, less than a third of its current age.

The Herschel astronomers suspect that they are just scratching the surface of a much larger population of magnified galaxies to be uncovered. The images studied so far make up just two percent of the entire planned survey, a program called the Herschel Astrophysical Terahertz Large Area Survey, or Herschel-ATLAS.

"The fact that this Herschel team saw five lensed galaxies is very exciting," said Paul Goldsmith, the U.S. project scientist for Herschel at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. "This means that we can probably pick out hundreds of new lensed galaxies in the Herschel data."

The five galaxies are young and bursting with dusty, new stars. The dust is so thick, the galaxies cannot be seen at all with visible-light telescopes. Herschel can see the faint warmth of the dust, however, because it glows at far-infrared and submillimeter wavelengths. Because the galaxies are being magnified, astronomers can now dig deeper into these dusty, exotic places and learn more about what makes them tick.

Herschel is a European Space Agency cornerstone mission, with science instruments provided by consortia of European institutes and with important participation by NASA. NASA's Herschel Project Office is based at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. JPL contributed mission-enabling technology for two of Herschel's three science instruments. The NASA Herschel Science Center, part of the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, supports the U.S. astronomical community. Caltech manages JPL for NASA.

More information and images are online at http://www.herschel.caltech.edu , http://www.nasa.gov/herschel and http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Herschel/index.html.

Whitney Clavin 818-354-4673
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
whitney.clavin@jpl.nasa.gov




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Offline jacqmans

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #39 on: 01/04/2011 02:46 PM »
Press Release
N°01-2011

Paris, 4 January 2011

Call for Media: briefing on first results from ESA's Planck mission

Media representatives are invited to a briefing on the occasion of the release of the first data and scientific results from ESA's Planck mission.
 
The media briefing will take place at the Planétarium, Cité des Sciences, Paris, France on 11 January from 12:00 to 13:30 CET. Doors open at 11:45 CET.

Scientists from ESA and several European astronomy institutes will present the first data and results from ESA's Planck mission. The Early Release Compact Source Catalogue contains thousands of sources detected by Planck from radio to far-infrared wavelengths, ranging from dense, cold clouds embedded in nearby star-forming regions to distant, supermassive clusters of galaxies.

Planck's goal is to make the most accurate measurements to date of the 'cosmic microwave background radiation', a rippling glow covering the whole sky, left over from a time just 380 000 years after the Big Bang created the expanding Universe. With these measurements, we expect to be able to learn much about the birth, early evolution and ultimate fate of the Universe.

However, there are many other objects in the Universe giving out light at the same wavelengths, including cold dust, hot gas and electrons swirling in magnetic fields. All of this emission must be identified and removed before Planck can achieve its ultimate goal of measuring the cosmic microwave background with unprecedented sensitivity and sharpness. The 11 January release of the catalogue is an important step by the Planck scientists in this direction.

Fortunately, this 'contamination' is not just thrown away: it is a scientific treasure trove for astronomers across the world to uncover in the coming years, as we shall learn at this media briefing.

Early results gleaned from the catalogue include the first imaging of galaxies clustering in the distant Universe, seen through subtle variations in the cosmic infrared background; the detection of the coldest objects in our Milky Way; and the identification and quantification of sources of microwave emission spread across our own Milky Way -so far only suspected.

For more detailed information on the Planck mission:
http://www.esa.int/planck
http://sci.esa.int/planck


Offline jacqmans

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #40 on: 01/10/2011 06:04 PM »
Webcast press conference on Planck

Scientists from ESA and several European astronomy institutes will present the first data and results from ESA's Planck mission. The Early Release Compact Source Catalogue contains thousands of sources detected by Planck, from radio to far-infrared wavelengths, ranging from dense, cold clouds embedded in nearby star-forming regions to distant, supermassive clusters of galaxies.

http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Planck/SEMBTA3SNIG_0.html

Offline bolun

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #41 on: 01/11/2011 03:32 PM »
Planck’s new view of the cosmic theatre
 
11 January 2011

ESA PR-3 2011 The first scientific results from ESA’s Planck mission were released at a press briefing today in Paris. The findings focus on the coldest objects in the Universe, from within our Galaxy to the distant reaches of space.

http://www.esa.int/esaSC/SEMK4D3SNIG_index_0.html

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #42 on: 01/11/2011 05:53 PM »
RELEASE: 11-011

PLANCK MISSION PEELS BACK LAYERS OF THE UNIVERSE

WASHINGTON -- The Planck mission released a new data catalogue Tuesday
from initial maps of the entire sky. The catalogue includes thousands
of never-before-seen dusty cocoons where stars are forming and some
of the most massive clusters of galaxies ever observed. Planck is a
European Space Agency (ESA) mission with significant contributions
from NASA.

"NASA is pleased to support this important mission, and we have
eagerly awaited Planck's first discoveries," said Jon Morse, NASA's
Astrophysics Division director at the agency's headquarters in
Washington. "We look forward to continued collaboration with ESA and
more outstanding science to come."

Planck launched in May 2009 on a mission to detect light from just a
few hundred thousand years after the Big Bang, an explosive event at
the dawn of the universe approximately 13.7 billion years ago. The
spacecraft's state-of-the-art detectors ultimately will survey the
whole sky at least four times, measuring the cosmic microwave
background, or radiation left over from the Big Bang. The data will
help scientists decipher clues about the evolution, fate and fabric
of our universe. While these cosmology results won't be ready for
another two years or so, early observations of specific objects in
our Milky Way galaxy, as well as more distant galaxies, are being
released.

"The data we're releasing now are from what lies between us and the
cosmic microwave background," said Charles Lawrence, the U.S. project
scientist for Planck at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena,
Calif. We ultimately will subtract these data out to get at our
cosmic microwave background signal. But by themselves, these early
observations offer up new information about objects in our universe
-- both close and far away, and everything in between," Lawrence
said.

Planck observes the sky at nine wavelengths of light, ranging from
infrared to radio waves. Its technology has greatly improved
sensitivity and resolution over its predecessor missions, NASA's
Cosmic Background Explorer and Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe.

The result is a windfall of data on known and never-before-seen cosmic
objects. Planck has catalogued approximately 10,000 star-forming
"cold cores," thousands of which are newly discovered. The cores are
dark and dusty nurseries where baby stars are just beginning to take
shape.

They also are some of the coldest places in the universe. Planck's new
catalogue includes some of the coldest cores ever seen, with
temperatures as low as seven degrees above absolute zero, or minus
447 degrees Fahrenheit. In order to see the coldest gas and dust in
the Milky Way, Planck's detectors were chilled to only 0.1 kelvins.

The new catalogue also contains some of the most massive clusters of
galaxies known, including a handful of newfound ones. The most
massive of these holds the equivalent of a million billion suns worth
of mass, making it one of the most massive galaxy clusters known.

Galaxies in our universe are bound together into these larger
clusters, forming a lumpy network across the cosmos. Scientists study
the clusters to learn more about the evolution of galaxies and dark
matter and dark energy -- the exotic substances that constitute the
majority of our universe.

"Because Planck is observing the whole sky, it is giving us a
comprehensive look at how all the smaller structures of the universe
are connected to the whole," said Jim Bartlett, a U.S. Planck team
member at JPL and the Astroparticule et Cosmologie-Universite Paris
Diderot in France.

Planck's new catalogue also includes unique data on the pools of hot
gas that permeate roughly 14,000 smaller clusters of galaxies; the
best data yet on the cosmic infrared background, which is made up of
light from stars evolving in the early universe; and new observations
of extremely energetic galaxies spewing radio jets. The catalogue
covers about one-and-one-half sky scans.

For more information about Planck, visit:



http://www.nasa.gov/planck




http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Planck/index.html 


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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #43 on: 02/16/2011 06:32 PM »
RELEASE: 11-045

HERSCHEL MEASURES DARK MATTER REQUIRED FOR STAR-FORMING GALAXIES

WASHINGTON -- The Herschel Space Observatory has revealed how much
dark matter it takes to form a new galaxy bursting with stars.
Herschel is a European Space Agency cornerstone mission supported
with important NASA contributions.

The findings are a key step in understanding how dark matter, an
invisible substance permeating our universe, contributed to the birth
of massive galaxies in the early universe.

"If you start with too little dark matter, then a developing galaxy
would peter out," said astronomer Asantha Cooray of the University of
California, Irvine. He is the principal investigator of new research
appearing in the journal Nature, online on Feb. 16 and in the Feb. 24
print edition. "If you have too much, then gas doesn't cool
efficiently to form one large galaxy, and you end up with lots of
smaller galaxies. But if you have the just the right amount of dark
matter, then a galaxy bursting with stars will pop out."

This right of amount of dark matter turns out to be a mass equivalent
to 300 billion of our suns.

Herschel launched into space in May 2009. The mission's large,
3.5-meter telescope detects longer-wavelength infrared light from a
host of objects, ranging from asteroids and planets in our own solar
system to faraway galaxies.

"This remarkable discovery shows that early galaxies go through
periods of star formation much more vigorous than in our present-day
Milky Way," said William Danchi, Herschel program scientist at NASA
Headquarters in Washington. "It showcases the importance of infrared
astronomy, enabling us to peer behind veils of interstellar dust to
see stars in their infancy."

Cooray and colleagues used the telescope to measure infrared light
from massive, star-forming galaxies located 10 to 11 billion
light-years away. Astronomers think these and other galaxies formed
inside clumps of dark matter, similar to chicks incubating in eggs.

Giant clumps of dark matter act like gravitational wells that collect
the gas and dust needed for making galaxies. When a mixture of gas
and dust falls into a well, it condenses and cools, allowing new
stars to form. Eventually enough stars form, and a galaxy is born.

Herschel was able to uncover more about how this galaxy-making process
works by mapping the infrared light from collections of very distant,
massive star-forming galaxies. This pattern of light, called the
cosmic infrared background, is like a web that spreads across the
sky. Because Herschel can survey large areas quickly with high
resolution, it was able to create the first detailed maps of the
cosmic infrared background.

"It turns out that it's much more effective to look at these patterns
rather than the individual galaxies," said Jamie Bock of NASA's Jet
Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. Bock is the U.S. principal
investigator for Herschel's Spectral and Photometric Imaging Receiver
instrument used to make the maps. "This is like looking at a picture
in a magazine from a reading distance. You don't notice the
individual dots, but you see the big picture. Herschel gives us the
big picture of these distant galaxies, showing the influence of dark
matter."

The maps showed the galaxies are more clustered into groups than
previously believed. The amount of galaxy clustering depends on the
amount of dark matter. After a series of complicated numerical
simulations, the astronomers were able to determine exactly how much
dark matter is needed to form a single star-forming galaxy.

"This measurement is important, because we are homing in on the very
basic ingredients in galaxy formation," said Alexandre Amblard, also
of UC Irvine, first author of the Nature paper. "In this case, the
ingredient, dark matter, happens to be an exotic substance that we
still have much to learn about."

NASA's Herschel Project Office is based at JPL, which contributed
mission-enabling technology for two of Herschel's three science
instruments. The NASA Herschel Science Center, part of the Infrared
Processing and Analysis Center at the California Institute of
Technology in Pasadena, supports the U.S. astronomical community.

For more information about Herschel, visit:



http://www.nasa.gov/herschel




http://www.esa.int/herschel


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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #44 on: 02/16/2011 06:50 PM »
16 February 2011 -

ESA’s Herschel space observatory has discovered a population of dust-enshrouded galaxies that do not need as much dark matter as previously thought to collect gas and burst into star formation.

Full story:
http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEMRQ3PT1KG_index_0.html

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #46 on: 04/13/2011 03:49 PM »
13 April 2011

ESA’s Herschel space observatory has revealed that nearby interstellar clouds contain networks of tangled gaseous filaments. Intriguingly, each filament is approximately the same width, hinting that they may result from interstellar sonic booms throughout our Galaxy.

http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEMQVH7S9MG_index_0.html

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #47 on: 05/10/2011 10:33 AM »
Raging storms sweep away galactic gas

9 May 2011

ESA’s Herschel infrared space observatory has detected raging winds of molecular gas streaming away from galaxies. Suspected for years, these outflows may have the power to strip galaxies of gas and halt star formation in its tracks.
 
The winds that Herschel has detected are extraordinary. The fastest is blowing at a speed of more than 1000 km/s, or about 10 000 times faster than the wind in a terrestrial hurricane.

This is the first time that such molecular gas outflows have been unequivocally observed in a sample of galaxies. This is an important discovery because stars form from molecular gas, and these outflows are robbing the galaxy of the raw material it needs to make new stars. If the outflows are powerful enough, they could even halt star formation altogether. 

http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEMQETISDNG_index_0.html

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #48 on: 07/07/2011 07:17 PM »
Exploding stars can make good dust factories

7 July 2011

ESA’s Herschel space observatory has discovered that titanic stellar explosions can be excellent dust factories. In space, the dust mixes with gas to become the raw material for new stars, planets and, ultimately, life. This discovery may solve a mystery of the early Universe.

http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEMZT27TLPG_index_0.html

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #49 on: 07/07/2011 07:18 PM »
 July 7, 2011

Herschel Helps Solve Mystery of Cosmic Dust Origins

The full version of this story with accompanying images is at:
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2011-204&cid=release_2011-204

PASADENA, CALIF. -- 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.

"This discovery illustrates the power of tackling a problem in astronomy with different wavelengths of light," said Paul Goldsmith, the NASA Herschel project scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., who is not a part of the current study. "Herschel's eye for longer-wavelength infrared light has given us new tools for addressing a profound cosmic mystery."

Herschel is led by the European Space Agency with important contributions from NASA.

Cosmic dust is made of various elements, such as carbon, oxygen, iron and other atoms heavier than hydrogen and helium. It is the stuff of which planets and people are made, and it is essential for star formation. Stars like our sun churn out flecks of dust as they age, spawning new generations of stars and their orbiting planets.

Astronomers have for decades wondered how dust was made in our early universe. Back then, sun-like stars had not been around long enough to produce the enormous amounts of dust observed in distant, early galaxies. Supernovae, on the other hand, are the explosions of massive stars that do not live long.

The new Herschel observations are the best evidence yet that supernovae are, in fact, the dust-making machines of the early cosmos.

"The Earth on which we stand is made almost entirely of material created inside a star," explained the principal investigator of the survey project, Margaret Meixner of the Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Md. "Now we have a direct measurement of how supernovae enrich space with the elements that condense into the dust that is needed for stars, planets and life."

The study, appearing in the July 8 issue of the journal Science, focused on the remains of the most recent supernova to be witnessed with the naked eye from Earth. Called SN 1987A, this remnant is the result of a stellar blast that occurred 170,000 light-years away and was seen on Earth in 1987. As the star blew up, it brightened in the night sky and then slowly faded over the following months. Because astronomers are able to witness the phases of this star's death over time, SN 1987A is one of the most extensively studied objects in the sky.

A new view from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope showing how supernova 1987A has recently brightened is at http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2011/21 .

Initially, astronomers weren't sure if the Herschel telescope could even see this supernova remnant. Herschel detects the longest infrared wavelengths, which means it can see very cold objects that emit very little heat, such as dust. But it so happened that SN 1987A was imaged during a Herschel survey of the object's host galaxy -- a small neighboring galaxy called the Large Magellanic Cloud (it's called large because it's bigger than its sister galaxy, the Small Magellanic Cloud).

After the scientists retrieved the images from space, they were surprised to see that SN 1987A was aglow with light. Careful calculations revealed that the glow was coming from enormous clouds of dust -- consisting of 10,000 times more material than previous estimates. The dust is minus 429 to minus 416 degrees Fahrenheit (about minus 221 to 213 Celsius) -- colder than Pluto, which is about minus 400 degrees Fahrenheit (204 degrees Celsius).

"Our Herschel discovery of dust in SN 1987A can make a significant understanding in the dust in the Large Magellanic Cloud," said Mikako Matsuura of University College London, England, the lead author of the Science paper. "In addition to the puzzle of how dust is made in the early universe, these results give us new clues to mysteries about how the Large Magellanic Cloud and even our own Milky Way became so dusty."

Previous studies had turned up some evidence that supernovae are capable of producing dust. For example, NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, which detects shorter infrared wavelengths than Herschel, found 10,000 Earth-masses worth of fresh dust around the supernova remnant called Cassiopea A. Hershel can see even colder material, and thus the coldest reservoirs of dust. "The discovery of up to 230,000 Earths worth of dust around SN 1987A is the best evidence yet that these monstrous blasts are indeed mighty dust makers," said Eli Dwek, a co-author at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

Other authors include M. Otsuka, J. Roman-Duval, K.S. Long and K.D. Gordon, Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Md.; B. Babler, University of Wisconsin, Madison; M.J. Barlow, University College London, United Kingdom; C. Engelbracht, K.A. Misselt and E. Montiel, University of Arizona, Tucson; K. Sandstrom, Max Planck Institut für Astronomie, Heidelberg, Germany; M. Lakićević and J.Th. van Loon, Keele University, United Kingdom; G. Sonneborn, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.; G.C. Clayton, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge; P. Lundqvist, Stockholm, Sweden; T. Nozawa, University of Tokyo, Japan; S. Hony, K. Okumura and M. Sauvage, the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission, France.

Herschel is a European Space Agency cornerstone mission, with science instruments provided by consortia of European institutes and with important participation by NASA. NASA's Herschel Project Office is based at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. JPL contributed mission-enabling technology for two of Herschel's three science instruments. The NASA Herschel Science Center, part of the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, supports the United States astronomical community. Caltech manages JPL for NASA.

More information is online at http://www.nasa.gov/herschel and http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Herschel/index.html .


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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #50 on: 07/26/2011 01:56 PM »
Enceladus rains water onto Saturn
 
26 July 2011

ESA’s Herschel space observatory has shown that water expelled from the moon Enceladus forms a giant torus of water vapour around Saturn. The discovery solves a 14-year mystery by identifying the source of the water in Saturn’s upper atmosphere.
 
Herschel’s latest results mean that Enceladus is the only moon in the Solar System known to influence the chemical composition of its parent planet.

http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEMNGHFTFQG_index_0.html


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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #51 on: 08/01/2011 04:23 PM »
RELEASE: 11-252

HERSCHEL TELESCOPE DETECTS OXYGEN MOLECULES IN SPACE

WASHINGTON -- 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.

Individual atoms of oxygen are common in space, particularly around
massive stars. But, molecular oxygen, which makes up about 20 percent
of the air we breathe, has eluded astronomers until now.

"Oxygen gas was discovered in the 1770s, but it's taken us more than
230 years to finally say with certainty that this very simple
molecule exists in space," said Paul Goldsmith, NASA's Herschel
project scientist at the agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in
Pasadena, Calif.

Goldsmith is lead author of a recent paper describing the findings in
the Astrophysical Journal. Herschel is a European Space Agency-led
mission with important NASA contributions.

Astronomers searched for the elusive molecules in space for decades
using balloons, as well as ground- and space-based telescopes. The
Swedish Odin telescope spotted the molecule in 2007, but the sighting
could not be confirmed.

Goldsmith and his colleagues propose that oxygen is locked up in water
ice that coats tiny dust grains. They think the oxygen detected by
Herschel in the Orion nebula was formed after starlight warmed the
icy grains, releasing water, which was converted into oxygen
molecules.

"This explains where some of the oxygen might be hiding," said
Goldsmith. "But we didn't find large amounts of it, and still don't
understand what is so special about the spots where we find it. The
universe still holds many secrets."

The researchers plan to continue their hunt for oxygen molecules in
other star-forming regions.

"Oxygen is the third most common element in the universe and its
molecular form must be abundant in space," said Bill Danchi, Herschel
program scientist at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "Herschel is
proving a powerful tool to probe this unsolved mystery. The
observatory gives astronomers an innovative tool to look at a whole
new set of wavelengths where the tell-tale signature of oxygen may be
hiding."

Herschel is a European Space Agency cornerstone mission, with science
instruments provided by consortia of European institutes. NASA's
Herschel Project Office is based at JPL, which contributed
mission-enabling technology for two of Herschel's three science
instruments.

The NASA Herschel Science Center, part of the Infrared Processing and
Analysis Center at the California Institute of Technology in
Pasadena, supports the U.S. astronomical community. Caltech manages
JPL for NASA.

For NASA'S Herschel website, visit:


http://www.nasa.gov/herschel


For ESA'S Herschel website, visit:


http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Herschel/index.html 

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #52 on: 09/13/2011 09:43 AM »
Herschel paints new story of galaxy evolution

13 September 2011

ESA's Herschel infrared space observatory has discovered that galaxies do not need to collide with each other to drive vigorous star birth. The finding overturns this long-held assumption and paints a more stately picture of how galaxies evolve.

http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEM2Y40UDSG_index_0.html

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #53 on: 10/05/2011 08:03 PM »
RELEASE: 11-338

SPACE OBSERVATORY PROVIDES CLUES TO CREATION OF EARTH'S OCEANS

WASHINGTON -- 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.

New measurements from the Herschel Space Observatory show that comet
Hartley 2, which comes from the distant Kuiper Belt, contains water
with the same chemical signature as Earth's oceans. This remote
region of the solar system, some 30 to 50 times as far away as the
distance between Earth and the sun, is home to icy, rocky bodies
including Pluto, other dwarf planets and innumerable comets.

"Our results with Herschel suggest that comets could have played a
major role in bringing vast amounts of water to an early Earth," said
Dariusz Lis, senior research associate in physics at the California
Institute of Technology in Pasadena and co-author of a new paper in
the journal Nature, published online Oct. 5. "This finding
substantially expands the reservoir of Earth ocean-like water in the
solar system to now include icy bodies originating in the Kuiper
Belt."

Scientists theorize Earth started out hot and dry, so that water
critical for life must have been delivered millions of years later by
asteroid and comet impacts. Until now, none of the comets previously
studied contained water like Earth's. However, Herschel's
observations of Hartley 2, the first in-depth look at water in a
comet from the Kuiper Belt, paint a different picture.

Herschel peered into the comet's coma, or thin, gaseous atmosphere.
The coma develops as frozen materials inside a comet vaporize while
on approach to the sun. This glowing envelope surrounds the comet's
"icy dirtball"-like core and streams behind the object in a
characteristic tail.

Herschel detected the signature of vaporized water in this coma and,
to the surprise of the scientists, Hartley 2 possessed half as much
"heavy water" as other comets analyzed to date. In heavy water, one
of the two normal hydrogen atoms has been replaced by the heavy
hydrogen isotope known as deuterium. The ratio between heavy water
and light, or regular, water in Hartley 2 is the same as the water on
Earth's surface. The amount of heavy water in a comet is related to
the environment where the comet formed.

By tracking the path of Hartley 2 as it swoops into Earth's
neighborhood in the inner solar system every six and a half years,
astronomers know that it comes from the Kuiper Belt. The five comets
besides Hartley 2 whose heavy-water-to-regular-water ratios have been
obtained all come from an even more distant region in the solar
system called the Oort Cloud. This swarm of bodies, 10,000 times
farther afield than the Kuiper Belt, is the wellspring for most
documented comets.

Given the higher ratios of heavy water seen in Oort Cloud comets
compared to Earth's oceans, astronomers had concluded that the
contribution by comets to Earth's total water volume stood at
approximately 10 percent. Asteroids, which are found mostly in a band
between Mars and Jupiter but occasionally stray into Earth's
vicinity, looked like the major depositors. The new results, however,
point to Kuiper Belt comets having performed a previously
underappreciated service in bearing water to Earth.

How these objects ever came to possess the tell-tale oceanic water is
puzzling. Astronomers had expected Kuiper Belt comets to have even
more heavy water than Oort Cloud comets because the latter are
thought to have formed closer to the sun than those in the Kuiper
Belt. Therefore, Oort Cloud bodies should have had less frozen heavy
water locked in them prior to their ejection to the fringes as the
solar system evolved.

"Our study indicates that our understanding of the distribution of the
lightest elements and their isotopes, as well as the dynamics of the
early solar system, is incomplete," said co-author Geoffrey Blake,
professor of planetary science and chemistry at Caltech. "In the
early solar system, comets and asteroids must have been moving all
over the place, and it appears that some of them crash-landed on our
planet and made our oceans."

Herschel is a European Space Agency cornerstone mission, with science
instruments provided by consortia of European institutes. NASA's
Herschel Project Office is based at the agency's Jet Propulsion
Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., which contributed mission-enabling
technology for two of Herschel's three science instruments. The NASA
Herschel Science Center, part of the Infrared Processing and Analysis
Center at Caltech in Pasadena, supports the U.S. astronomical
community.

For NASA's Herschel website, visit:


http://www.nasa.gov/herschel


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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #54 on: 10/05/2011 08:04 PM »
Did Earth's oceans come from comets?

5 October 2011

ESA's Herschel infrared space observatory has found water in a comet with almost exactly the same composition as Earth's oceans. The discovery revives the idea that our planet's seas could once have been giant icebergs floating through space.

http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEMER89U7TG_index_0.html

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #55 on: 10/20/2011 07:11 PM »
Herschel detects abundant water in planet-forming disc
 
20 October 2011

ESA’s Herschel space observatory has found evidence of water vapour emanating from ice on dust grains in the disc around a young star, revealing a hidden ice reservoir the size of thousands of oceans.
 
TW Hydrae, a star between 5-10 million years old, and only 176 light-years away, is in the final stage of formation, and is surrounded by a disc of dust and gas that may condense to form a complete set of planets.

 http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEMXSWFURTG_index_0.html

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #56 on: 10/20/2011 08:19 PM »
RELEASE: 11-355

HERSCHEL SPACE OBSERVATORY FINDS OCEANS OF WATER IN PLANET-FORMING DISK AROUND NEARBY STAR

WASHINGTON -- 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. Herschel is a
European Space Agency mission with important NASA contributions.

Scientists previously found warm water vapor in planet-forming disks
close to a central star. Evidence for vast quantities of water
extending out into the cooler, far reaches of disks where comets take
shape had not been seen until now. The more water available in disks
for icy comets to form, the greater the chances that large amounts
eventually will reach new planets through impacts.

"Our observations of this cold vapor indicate enough water exists in
the disk to fill thousands of Earth oceans," said astronomer Michiel
Hogerheijde of Leiden Observatory in The Netherlands. Hogerheijde is
the lead author of a paper describing these findings in the Oct. 21
issue of the journal Science.

The star with this water-logged disk, called TW Hydrae, is 10 million
years old and located about 175 light-years away from Earth, in the
constellation Hydra. The frigid watery haze detected by Hogerheijde
and his team is thought to originate from ice-coated grains of dust
near the disk's surface. Ultraviolet light from the star causes some
water molecules to break free of this ice, creating a thin layer of
gas with a light signature detected by Herschel's Heterodyne
Instrument for the Far-Infrared, or HIFI.

"These are the most sensitive HIFI observations to-date," said Paul
Goldsmith, NASA project scientist for the Herschel Space Observatory
at the agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "It is
a testament to the instrument-builders that such weak signals can be
detected."

TW Hydrae is an orange dwarf star, somewhat smaller and cooler than
our yellow-white sun. The giant disk of material that encircles the
star has a size nearly 200 times the distance between Earth and the
sun. Over the next few million years, astronomers believe matter
within the disk will collide and grow into planets, asteroids and
other cosmic bodies. Dust and ice particles will assemble as comets.

As the new solar system evolves, icy comets are likely to deposit much
of the water they contain on freshly created worlds through impacts,
giving rise to oceans. Astronomers believe TW Hydrae and its icy disk
may be representative of many other young star systems, providing new
insights on how planets with abundant water could form throughout the
universe.

Herschel is a European Space Agency cornerstone mission launched in
2009, carrying science instruments provided by consortia of European
institutes. NASA's Herschel Project Office based at JPL contributed
mission-enabling technology for two of Herschel's three science
instruments. The NASA Herschel Science Center, part of the Infrared
Processing and Analysis Center at the California Institute of
Technology in Pasadena, supports the U.S. astronomical community.
Caltech manages JPL for NASA.

For NASA's Herschel website, visit:   

http://www.nasa.gov/herschel


For ESA's Herschel website, visit:   

http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Herschel/index.html


Offline bolun

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #57 on: 01/13/2012 01:19 PM »
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12065464

Quote
The Planck telescope, put in space to map the oldest light in the Universe, has run out of the helium coolant that keeps it in full working order.

Engineers expect the observatory's systems to start to warm from their ultra-frigid state in the coming days, blinding one of its two instruments.

Nonetheless, Planck has gathered more than enough data since its launch in 2009 to complete its mission goals.

Offline bolun

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #58 on: 01/16/2012 03:01 PM »
Planck's HFI completes its survey of early Universe
 
16 January 2012

The High Frequency Instrument on ESA's Planck mission has completed its survey of the remnant light from the Big Bang. The sensor ran out of coolant on Saturday as expected, ending its ability to detect this faint energy.

http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEMXWNMXDXG_index_0.html

Offline bolun

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #59 on: 01/18/2012 04:30 PM »
http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEMG4NMXDXG_index_0.html

Quote
The Eagle Nebula as never seen before. In 1995, the Hubble Space Telescope's 'Pillars of Creation' image of the Eagle Nebula became one of the most iconic images of the 20th century. Now, two of ESA's orbiting observatories have shed new light on this enigmatic star-forming region.

Quote
The ESA Herschel Space Observatory's new image shows the pillars and the wide field of gas and dust around them. Captured in far-infrared wavelengths, the image allows astronomers to see inside the pillars and structures in the region.

In parallel, a new multi-energy X-ray image from ESA's XMM-Newton telescope shows those hot young stars responsible for carving the pillars.

Combining the new space data with near-infrared images from the European Southern Observatory's (ESO's) Very Large Telescope at Paranal, Chile, and visible-light data from its Max Planck Gesellschaft 2.2m diameter telescope at La Silla, Chile, we see this iconic region of the sky in a uniquely beautiful and revealing way.

Offline bolun

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #60 on: 02/13/2012 01:42 PM »
Planck steps closer to the cosmic blueprint
 
13 February 2012

ESA’s Planck mission has revealed that our Galaxy contains previously undiscovered islands of cold gas and a mysterious haze of microwaves. These results give scientists new treasure to mine and take them closer to revealing the blueprint of cosmic structure.
 
The new results are being presented this week at an international conference in Bologna, Italy, where astronomers from around the world are discussing the mission’s intermediate results.

http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEM0FLYXHYG_index_1.html

Offline jacqmans

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #61 on: 02/13/2012 04:37 PM »
Image advisory: 2012-040                                                                    Feb. 13, 2012

Planck All-Sky Images Show Cold Gas and Strange Haze

The full version of this story with accompanying images is at:
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2012-040&cid=release_2012-040

New images from the Planck mission show previously undiscovered islands of star formation and a mysterious haze of microwave emissions in our Milky Way galaxy. The views give scientists new treasures to mine and take them closer to understanding the secrets of our galaxy.

Planck is a European Space Agency mission with significant NASA participation.

"The images reveal two exciting aspects of the galaxy in which we live," said Planck scientist Krzysztof M. Gorski from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., and Warsaw University Observatory in Poland. "They show a haze around the center of the galaxy, and cold gas where we never saw it before."

The new images show the entire sky, dominated by the murky band of our Milky Way galaxy. One of them shows the unexplained haze of microwave light previously hinted at in measurements by NASA's Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP).

"The haze comes from the region surrounding the center of our galaxy and looks like a form of light energy produced when electrons accelerate through magnetic fields," said Davide Pietrobon, another JPL Planck scientist.

"We're puzzled though, because this haze is brighter at shorter wavelengths than similar light emitted elsewhere in the galaxy," added Gorski.

Several explanations have been proposed for this unusual behaviour.

"Theories include higher numbers of supernovae, galactic winds and even the annihilation of dark-matter particles," said Greg Dobler, a Planck collaborator from the University of California in Santa Barbara, Calif. Dark matter makes up about a quarter of our universe, but scientists don't know exactly what it is.

The second all-sky image is the first map to show carbon monoxide over the whole sky. Cold clouds with forming stars are predominantly made of hydrogen molecules, difficult to detect because they do not readily emit radiation. Carbon monoxide forms under similar conditions, and though it is rarer, the gas emits more light. Astronomers can use carbon monoxide to identify the clouds of hydrogen where stars are born.

Surveys of carbon monoxide undertaken with radio telescopes on the ground are time-consuming, so they are limited to portions of the sky where clouds of molecules are already known or expected to exist. Planck scans the whole sky, allowing astronomers to detect the gas where they weren't expecting to find it.

Planck’s primary goal is to observe the Cosmic Microwave Background, the relic radiation from the Big Bang, and to extract its encoded information about what our universe is made of, and the origin of its structure.

This relic radiation can only be reached once all sources of foreground emission, such as the galactic haze and the carbon monoxide signals, have been identified and removed.

"The lengthy and delicate task of foreground removal provides us with prime datasets that are shedding new light on hot topics in galactic and extragalactic astronomy alike," said Jan Tauber, Planck project scientist at the European Space Agency.

Planck’s first findings on the Big Bang's relic radiation are expected to be released in 2013. The new results are being presented this week at an international astronomy conference in Bologna, Italy.

NASA's Planck Project Office is based at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. JPL contributed mission-enabling technology for both of Planck's science instruments. European, Canadian and U.S. Planck scientists will work together to analyze the Planck data. More information is online at http://www.nasa.gov/planck and http://www.esa.int/planck .

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Offline woods170

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Offline pargoo

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #64 on: 02/14/2012 08:24 AM »
    My hero :)

Offline woods170

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #65 on: 02/14/2012 10:58 AM »
 ;D

Honestly, the credit should go to
Google, courtesy of their images-tab.
« Last Edit: 02/14/2012 11:05 AM by woods170 »

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #66 on: 02/15/2012 03:34 AM »
     I googled the hell out of 'Herschel + launch' and so forth, and got back nada.  I wandered around the ESA site for several hours without stumbling once again upon their 'Library' section - this time it's bookmarked so I don't lose it yet again(!)
     Speaking of ESA, after 3 attempts they finally gave me an account to access their 'professional' photo section.  It was with bated breath that I logged on for the 1st time to find...eight pretty dull galleries all about the Andre Kuipers mission, some Earth views, shots of various pads at Kourou and some EVA shots.  It took me barely 10 minutes to flick through them all, and I only found 2 shots worth downloading.
     I was expecting a treasure-trove of shuttle pics from ESA-involved missions of the sort posted by Jester, not to mention all the Ariane 1,2,3 & 4 launch images, and so on and so on.
     Wow, what a disappointment.

Offline woods170

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #67 on: 02/15/2012 09:21 AM »
     I googled the hell out of 'Herschel + launch' and so forth, and got back nada.  I wandered around the ESA site for several hours without stumbling once again upon their 'Library' section - this time it's bookmarked so I don't lose it yet again(!)
     Speaking of ESA, after 3 attempts they finally gave me an account to access their 'professional' photo section.  It was with bated breath that I logged on for the 1st time to find...eight pretty dull galleries all about the Andre Kuipers mission, some Earth views, shots of various pads at Kourou and some EVA shots.  It took me barely 10 minutes to flick through them all, and I only found 2 shots worth downloading.
     I was expecting a treasure-trove of shuttle pics from ESA-involved missions of the sort posted by Jester, not to mention all the Ariane 1,2,3 & 4 launch images, and so on and so on.
     Wow, what a disappointment.
That is the new section of ESA's photolibrary for professionals. The old section holds a lot more. But, don't get your hopes up. The old section also is very thin on Ariane launches, shuttle missions. And no, you are NOT going to find the missing Ulysses-in-the-shuttle-payload-bay images there either.  ;)

On another note: simply adding the term 'arianespace' to your Google search would have gotten you the same launch image, but on the Wunderground site. And that one holds a direct link to the arianespace image library. Sometimes it actually helps to narrow your searchparameters by adding additional search terms.

Now, this had strayed somewhat OT. Let's get back to Herschel and Planck
« Last Edit: 02/15/2012 09:26 AM by woods170 »

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #68 on: 02/21/2012 08:49 AM »
Herschel Status Report - December 2011 and January 2012

http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=50005

Offline bolun

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #69 on: 03/14/2012 11:09 AM »
Herschel's new view on giant planet formation

13 Mar 2012

Astronomers have used ESA's Herschel Space Observatory to observe 2M1207, a peculiar brown dwarf with its own circumstellar disc and a planetary companion five times more massive than Jupiter. These new data provide the first image of this system taken at sub-millimetre wavelengths and show that the disc's mass amounts to a few times the mass of Jupiter. The presence of such a massive disc around this ten-million-year old brown dwarf suggests that its planetary companion formed directly from the disc's fragmentation. This reopens the debate on how giant planets form around stellar and sub-stellar objects.

http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=50139

Offline bolun

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #70 on: 04/04/2012 03:48 PM »
The dark heart of a cosmic collision

4 April 2012

Two of ESA’s space observatories have combined to create a multi-wavelength view of violent events taking place within the giant galaxy of Centaurus A. The new observations strengthen the view that it may have been created by the cataclysmic collision of two older galaxies.
 
Centaurus A is the closest giant elliptical galaxy to Earth, at a distance of around 12 million light-years. It stands out for harbouring a massive black hole at its core and emitting intense blasts of radio waves. 

While previous images taken in visible light have hinted at a complex inner structure in Centaurus A, combining the output of two of ESA’s observatories working at almost opposite ends of the electromagnetic spectrum reveals the unusual structure in much greater detail.

http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEM2FDEWF0H_index_0.html

and

http://www.bis.gov.uk/ukspaceagency/news-and-events/2012/Apr/herschel-a-cannibalistic-galaxy-with-a-powerful-heart
« Last Edit: 04/04/2012 04:08 PM by bolun »

Offline bolun

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #71 on: 04/11/2012 05:11 PM »
Herschel images extrasolar analogue of the Kuiper Belt

11 Apr 2012

New images from ESA's Herschel Space Observatory reveal the glow from dust in the debris disc - a structure resembling the Kuiper Belt in the primordial Solar System - around the young star Fomalhaut. Detailed studies suggest that the dust in this debris disc consists of 'fluffy' aggregates of grains, which are produced by the frequent collisions taking place between comets within the disc.

http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=50252

 
« Last Edit: 04/11/2012 05:12 PM by bolun »

Offline jacqmans

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #72 on: 05/09/2012 06:39 PM »
RELEASE: 12-151

OVERFED BLACK HOLES SHUT DOWN GALACTIC STAR-MAKING

WASHINGTON -- 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.

Herschel is a European Space Agency-led mission with important NASA
contributions.

"We want to know how star formation and black hole activity are
linked," said Mathew Page of University College London's Mullard
Space Science Laboratory in the United Kingdom and lead author of the
Nature paper describing these findings. "The two processes increase
together up to a point, but the most energetic black holes appear to
turn off star formation."

Supermassive black holes, weighing as much as millions of suns, are
believed to reside in the hearts of all large galaxies. When gas
falls upon these monsters, the material is accelerated and heated
around the black hole, releasing great torrents of energy. Earlier in
the history of the universe, these giant, luminous black holes,
called active galactic nuclei, were often much brighter and more
energetic. Star formation was also livelier back then.

Studies of nearby galaxies suggest active black holes can squash star
formation. The revved-up, central black holes likely heat up and
disperse the galactic reservoirs of cold gas needed to create new
stars. These studies have only provided "snapshots" in time, however,
leaving the overall relationship of active galactic nuclei and star
formation unclear, especially over the cosmic history of galaxy
formation.

"To understand how active galactic nuclei affect star formation over
the history of the universe, we investigated a time when star
formation was most vigorous, between eight and 12 billion years ago,"
said co-author James Bock, a senior research scientist at NASA's Jet
Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif., and co-coordinator
of the Herschel Multi-tiered Extragalactic Survey. "At that epoch,
galaxies were forming stars 10 times more rapidly than they are today
on average. Many of these galaxies are incredibly luminous, more than
1,000 times brighter than our Milky Way."

For the new study, Page and colleagues used Herschel data that probed
65 galaxies at wavelengths equivalent to the thickness of several
sheets of office paper, a region of the light spectrum known as the
far-infrared. These wavelengths reveal the rate of star formation,
because most of the energy released by developing stars heats
surrounding dust, which then re-radiates starlight out in
far-infrared wavelengths.

The researchers compared their infrared readings with X-rays streaming
from the active central black holes in the survey's galaxies,
measured by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. At lower intensities,
the black holes' brightness and star formation increased in sync.
However, star formation dropped off in galaxies with the most
energetic central black holes. Astronomers think inflows of gas fuel
new stars and supermassive black holes. Feed a black hole too much,
however, and it starts spewing radiation into the galaxy that
prevents raw material from coalescing into new stars.

"Now that we see the relationship between active supermassive black
holes and star formation, we want to know more about how this process
works," said Bill Danchi, Herschel program scientist at NASA
Headquarters in Washington. "Does star formation get disrupted from
the beginning with the formation of the brightest galaxies of this
type, or do all active black holes eventually shut off star
formation, and energetic ones do this more quickly than less active
ones?"

Herschel is a European Space Agency cornerstone mission, with science
instruments provided by consortia of European institutes and
important participation by NASA. NASA's Herschel Project Office is
based at JPL. JPL contributed mission-enabling technology for two of
Herschel's three science instruments. The NASA Herschel Science
Center, part of the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at
Caltech, supports the United States astronomical community. Caltech
manages JPL for NASA.

For NASA'S Herschel website, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/herschel

For ESA'S Herschel website, visit:

http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Herschel/index.html

Offline bolun

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #73 on: 05/10/2012 02:19 PM »
Cygnus-X: the cool swan glowing in flight

10 May 2012

Chaotic networks of dust and gas signpost the next generations of massive stars in this stunning new image of the Cygnus-X star-nursery captured by ESA’s Herschel space observatory.
 
Cygnus-X is an extremely active region of massive-star birth some 4500 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Cygnus, the Swan.
Using Herschel’s far-infrared eyes, astronomers can seek out regions where dust has been gently heated by stars, pointing them to dense clumps of gas where new generations of stars are forming.

http://www.esa.int/esaSC/SEMXKITWT1H_index_0.html

Offline jacqmans

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #74 on: 05/17/2012 06:03 PM »
News feature: 2012-139                                                                     May 17, 2012

Herschel Sees Intergalactic Bridge Aglow With Stars

The full version of this story with accompanying images is at:
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2012-139&cid=release_2012-139

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.

Herschel is a European Space Agency mission with important NASA contributions.

The filament is the first structure of its kind spied in a critical era of cosmic buildup when colossal collections of galaxies called superclusters began to take shape. The glowing galactic bridge offers astronomers a unique opportunity to explore how galaxies evolve and merge to form superclusters.

"We are excited about this filament, because we think the intense star formation we see in its galaxies is related to the consolidation of the surrounding supercluster," says Kristen Coppin, an astrophysicist at McGill University in Canada, and lead author of a new paper in Astrophysical Journal Letters.

"This luminous bridge of star formation gives us a snapshot of how the evolution of cosmic structure on very large scales affects the evolution of the individual galaxies trapped within it," says Jim Geach, a co-author who is also based at McGill.

The intergalactic filament, containing hundreds of galaxies, spans 8 million light-years and links two of the three clusters that make up a supercluster known as RCS2319. This emerging supercluster is an exceptionally rare, distant object whose light has taken more than seven billion years to reach us.

RCS2319 is the subject of a huge observational study, led by Tracy Webb and her group at McGill. Previous observations in visible and X-ray light had found the cluster cores and hinted at the presence of a filament. It was not until astronomers trained Herschel on the region, however, that the intense star-forming activity in the filament became clear. Dust obscures much of the star-formation activity in the early universe, but telescopes like Herschel can detect the infrared glow of this dust as it is heated by nascent stars.

The amount of infrared light suggests that the galaxies in the filament are cranking out the equivalent of about 1,000 solar masses (the mass of our sun) of new stars per year. For comparison's sake, our Milky Way galaxy is producing about one solar-mass worth of new stars per year.

Researchers chalk up the blistering pace of star formation in the filament to the fact that galaxies within it are being crunched into a relatively small cosmic volume under the force of gravity. "A high rate of interactions and mergers between galaxies could be disturbing the galaxies' gas reservoirs, igniting bursts of star formation," said Geach.

By studying the filament, astronomers will be able to explore the fundamental issue of whether "nature" versus "nurture" matters more in the life progression of a galaxy. "Is the evolution of a galaxy dominated by intrinsic properties such as total mass, or do wider-scale cosmic environments largely determine how galaxies grow and change?" Geach asked. "The role of the environment in influencing galactic evolution is one of the key questions of modern astrophysics."

The galaxies in the RCS2319 filament will eventually migrate toward the center of the emerging supercluster. Over the next seven to eight billion years, astronomers think RCS2319 will come to look like gargantuan superclusters in the local universe, like the nearby Coma cluster. These advanced clusters are chock-full of "red and dead" elliptical galaxies that contain aged, reddish stars instead of young ones.

"The galaxies we are seeing as starbursts in RCS2319 are destined to become dead galaxies in the gravitational grip of one of the most massive structures in the universe," said Geach. "We're catching them at the most important stage of their evolution."

Herschel is a European Space Agency cornerstone mission, with science instruments provided by consortia of European institutes and with important participation by NASA. NASA's Herschel Project Office is based at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. JPL contributed mission-enabling technology for two of Herschel's three science instruments. The NASA Herschel Science Center, part of the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, supports the United States astronomical community. Caltech manages JPL for NASA.
More information is online at http://www.herschel.caltech.edu , http://www.nasa.gov/herschel and http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Herschel .

Offline bolun

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #75 on: 06/04/2012 12:57 PM »
The delicate balance of star formation in the Carina Nebula

04 Jun 2012

A new image from ESA's Herschel Space Observatory reveals the glowing clouds of gas and dust in the Carina Nebula complex, one of the most massive stellar nurseries in the Milky Way. The image provides a new view on this star-forming region at far-infrared wavelengths, disclosing the intricate structure of filaments, pillars and bubbles that pervades it. Carved by winds and highly energetic radiation from massive stars, these features recount the history of star formation in the nebula: a result of the delicate balance between stellar feedback effects that may either halt or trigger the production of new generations of stars.

 http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=50413

and

http://www.esa.int/esaSC/SEM0DE2XN2H_index_0.html
« Last Edit: 06/04/2012 12:58 PM by bolun »

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #76 on: 07/09/2012 01:05 PM »
Tangled nests and filaments: stellar nurseries in Vela-C

09 Jul 2012

ESA's Herschel Space Observatory has imaged the Vela-C molecular cloud, revealing the cloud's reservoir of gas and dust in unprecedented detail. Vela-C is a rich stellar nursery where stars of low, intermediate and high mass are forming. The image shows how the raw material from which stars form is organised in tangled nests as well as dense, ridge-like filaments, and suggests that the two environments may be responsible for producing different populations of stars.

http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=50534

http://www.esa.int/esaSC/SEMM1JJXB4H_index_0.html

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #77 on: 09/29/2012 05:24 AM »
according to tweets by Daniel Fischer (@cosmos4u), Herschel should run out of coolant in March 2013 and ESA is considering end of mission scenarios. Warm observations are not possible, so one idea is to deorbit it from L2 and crash it on the Moon to perform scientific observations.

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #78 on: 10/09/2012 03:48 PM »
Large water reservoirs at the dawn of stellar birth
 
9 October 2012

ESA’s Herschel space observatory has discovered enough water vapour to fill Earth’s oceans more than 2000 times over, in a gas and dust cloud that is on the verge of collapsing into a new Sun-like star.
 
Stars form within cold, dark clouds of gas and dust – ‘pre-stellar cores’ – that contain all the ingredients to make solar systems like our.

http://www.esa.int/esaSC/SEMVAO2S18H_index_0.html

 http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=50907

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #79 on: 10/27/2012 05:45 AM »
Scientists could aim derelict telescope for moon impact

The European Space Agency's Herschel space telescope, due to end its mission observing the infrared universe in March, may be sent on a crashing course toward the moon next summer to search for water embedded beneath the lunar surface, according to scientists.

Full story: follow link below

http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1210/26herschel/#.UIt0yGca-Cw

Edit: this plan is now no longer being considered. In May 2013 Herschel will be propelled into a long-term stable disposal orbit around the Sun.
« Last Edit: 03/05/2013 12:49 PM by woods170 »

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #80 on: 12/15/2012 11:19 AM »
Herschel confirms the origin of cosmic dust

14 Dec 2012

The Herschel space observatory 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.

http://www.bis.gov.uk/ukspaceagency/news-and-events/2012/Dec/herschel-confirms-the-origin-of-cosmic-dust

Offline jacqmans

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #81 on: 01/07/2013 03:47 PM »
A Cradle of Stars


Six hundred newly forming stars are crowded into intricate filaments of gas and dust that makes up this stellar nursery, seen for the first time by ESA’s Herschel space observatory.

The nebulous area coloured in blue, known as W40 or Sharpless 2-64, is roughly 1000 light-years away in the constellation Aquila, and is about 25 light-years across.

It is a vast cloud of hydrogen gas, illuminated by the radiation streaming out from at least three young massive stars embedded in the cloud.

The nebula is expanding into the surrounding medium, compressing the ambient gas on its way and triggering the formation of a second generation of even younger stars.

For more information,
http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/A_cradle_of_stars

Credits: ESA and SPIRE & PACS consortia, Ph. André (CEA Saclay) for Gould’s Belt Key Programme Consortia
« Last Edit: 01/07/2013 03:48 PM by jacqmans »

Offline jacqmans

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #82 on: 01/30/2013 06:14 PM »
HERSCHEL FINDS STAR POSSIBLY MAKING PLANETS PAST ITS PRIME

WASHINGTON -- A star thought to have passed the age at which it can
form planets may in fact be creating new worlds. The disk of material
surrounding the surprising star called TW Hydrae may be massive
enough to make even more planets than we have in our own solar
system.

The findings were made using the European Space Agency's Herschel
Space Telescope, a mission in which NASA is a participant.

At roughly 10 million years old and 176 light years away, TW Hydrae is
relatively close to Earth by astronomical standards. Its
planet-forming disk has been well studied. TW Hydrae is relatively
young but, in theory, it is past the age at which giant plants
already may have formed.

"We didn't expect to see so much gas around this star," said Edwin
Bergin of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Bergin led the new
study appearing in the journal Nature. "Typically stars of this age
have cleared out their surrounding material, but this star still has
enough mass to make the equivalent of 50 Jupiters," Bergin said.

In addition to revealing the peculiar state of the star, the findings
also demonstrate a new, more precise method for weighing
planet-forming disks. Previous techniques for assessing the mass were
indirect and uncertain. The new method can directly probe the gas
that typically goes into making planets.

Planets are born out of material swirling around young stars, and the
mass of this material is a key factor controlling their formation.
Astronomers did not know before the new study whether the disk around
TW Hydrae contained enough material to form new planets similar to
our own.

"Before, we had to use a proxy to guess the gas quantity in the
planet-forming disks," said Paul Goldsmith, the NASA project
scientist for Herschel at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in
Pasadena, Calif. "This is another example of Herschel's versatility
and sensitivity yielding important new results about star and planet
formation."

Using Herschel, they were able to take a fresh look at the disk with
the space telescope to analyze light coming from TW Hydrae and pick
out the spectral signature of a gas called hydrogen deuteride. Simple
hydrogen molecules are the main gas component of planets, but they
emit light at wavelengths too short to be detected by Herschel. Gas
molecules containing deuterium, a heavier version of hydrogen, emit
light at longer, far-infrared wavelengths that Herschel is equipped
to see. This enabled astronomers to measure the levels of hydrogen
deuteride and obtain the weight of the disk with the highest
precision yet.

"Knowing the mass of a planet-forming disk is crucial to understanding
how and when planets take shape around other stars," said Glenn
Wahlgren, Herschel program scientist at NASA Headquarters in
Washington.

Whether TW Hydrae's large disk will lead to an exotic planetary system
with larger and more numerous planets than ours remains to be seen,
but the new information helps define the range of possible planet
scenarios.

"The new results are another important step in understanding the
diversity of planetary systems in our universe," said Bergin. "We are
now observing systems with massive Jupiters, super-Earths, and many
Neptune-like worlds. By weighing systems at their birth, we gain
insight into how our own solar system formed with just one of many
possible planetary configurations."

Herschel is a European Space Agency (ESA) cornerstone mission, with
science instruments provided by a consortium of European institutes
and with important participation by NASA. NASA's Herschel Project
Office is based at JPL, which contributed mission-enabling technology
for two of Herschel's three science instruments. NASA's Herschel
Science Center, part of the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center
at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena,
supports the United States astronomical community. Caltech manages
JPL for NASA.

For NASA'S Herschel website, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/herschel

For ESA'S Herschel website, visit:

http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Herschel/index.html


Offline woods170

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #83 on: 03/05/2013 12:42 PM »
Herschel to finish observing soon

ESA’s Herschel space observatory is expected to exhaust its supply of liquid helium coolant in the coming weeks after spending more than three exciting years studying the cool Universe. 

Herschel was launched on 14 May 2009 and, with a main mirror 3.5 m across, it is the largest, most powerful infrared telescope ever flown in space.

A pioneering mission, it is the first to cover the entire wavelength range from the far-infrared to submillimetre, making it possible to study previously invisible cool regions of gas and dust in the cosmos, and providing new insights into the origin and evolution of stars and galaxies.

In order to make such sensitive far-infrared observations, the detectors of the three science instruments – two cameras/imaging spectrometers and a very high-resolution spectrometer – must be cooled to a frigid –271°C, close to absolute zero. They sit on top of a tank filled with superfluid liquid helium, inside a giant thermos flask known as a cryostat.

The superfluid helium evaporates over time, gradually emptying the tank and determining Herschel’s scientific life. At launch, the cryostat was filled to the brim with over 2300 litres of liquid helium, weighing 335 kg, for 3.5 years of operations in space.

Indeed, Herschel has made extraordinary discoveries across a wide range of topics, from starburst galaxies in the distant Universe to newly forming planetary systems orbiting nearby young stars.

However, all good things must come to an end and engineers believe that almost all of the liquid helium has now gone.

It is not possible to predict the exact day the helium will finally run out, but confirmation will come when Herschel begins its next daily 3-hour communication period with ground stations on Earth.

“It is no surprise that this will happen, and when it does we will see the temperatures of all the instruments rise by several degrees within just a few hours,” says Micha Schmidt, the Herschel Mission Operations Manager at ESA’s European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany.

The science observing programme was carefully planned to take full advantage of the lifetime of the mission, with all of the highest-priority observations already completed.

In addition, Herschel is performing numerous other interesting observations specifically chosen to exploit every last drop of helium.

“When observing comes to an end, we expect to have performed over 22 000 hours of science observations, 10% more than we had originally planned, so the mission has already exceeded expectations,” says Leo Metcalfe, the Herschel Science Operations and Mission Manager at ESA’s European Space Astronomy Centre in Madrid, Spain.

“We will finish observing soon, but Herschel data will enable a vast amount of exciting science to be done for many years to come,” says Göran Pilbratt, ESA’s Herschel Project Scientist at ESA’s European Space Research and Technology Centre in Noordwijk, the Netherlands.

“In fact, the peak of scientific productivity is still ahead of us, and the task now is to make the treasure trove of Herschel data as valuable as possible for now and for the future.”

Herschel will continue communicating with its ground stations for some time after the helium is exhausted, allowing a range of technical tests. Finally, in early May, it will be propelled into its long-term stable parking orbit around the Sun. 

http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Herschel_to_finish_observing_soon

« Last Edit: 03/05/2013 12:47 PM by woods170 »

Offline jacqmans

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #84 on: 03/16/2013 08:09 AM »
MEDIA ADVISORY: M13-048

NASA TV NEWS CONFERENCE TO DISCUSS PLANCK COSMOLOGY FINDINGS

WASHINGTON -- NASA will host a news conference at 11 a.m. EDT
Thursday, March 21, to discuss the first cosmology results from
Planck, a European Space Agency mission with significant NASA
participation.

The briefing will be held in the James E. Webb Auditorium at NASA
Headquarters at 300 E St. SW in Washington. It will be broadcast live
on NASA Television and streamed on the agency's website.

Planck launched into space in 2009 and has been scanning the skies
ever since, mapping cosmic microwave background, or the afterglow, of
the big bang that created our universe more than 13 billion years
ago.

The briefing participants are:
-- Paul Hertz, director of astrophysics, NASA, Washington
-- Charles Lawrence, U.S. Planck project scientist, NASA's Jet
Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, Calif.
-- Martin White, U.S. Planck scientist, University of California,
Berkeley, Calif.
-- Krzysztof Gorski, U.S. Planck scientist, JPL
-- Marc Kamionkowski, professor of physics and astronomy, John Hopkins
University, Baltimore, Md.

News media representatives may ask questions from participating NASA
centers or by telephone. To participate by phone, reporters must send
an email providing name, media affiliation and telephone number to
j.d.harrington@nasa.gov by 10 a.m. March 21. News media
representatives and the public may send questions via Twitter to
#AskNASA.

For NASA TV streaming video, scheduling and downlink information,
visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/ntv

The event will also be streamed live on Ustream at:

http://www.ustream/tv/nasajpl2

For more information about Planck, visit

http://www.nasa.gov/planck


and


http://www.esa.int/planck

Offline Robert Thompson

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #85 on: 03/21/2013 08:32 AM »
~1% less dark energy than thought
~1% more dark matter than thought
The universe is 80 million years older than thought

Offline Robert Thompson

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #86 on: 03/21/2013 08:38 AM »
power spectrum on large scales
temp fluc vs angular scale
dip feature at 10 degrees in the fit model
anomalies at large scales
now we're talking
preferred direction

Offline Robert Thompson

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #87 on: 03/21/2013 08:43 AM »
inflation model would iron out large anomalies (which they think they see)
(then he offhandedly allowed memory of multiverse as speculation)

Offline Robert Thompson

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #88 on: 03/21/2013 08:47 AM »
That was it? They said they are still working on polarization data. (Which I was waiting for.)

Main guy is saying the new Planck rules out "great swaths" of inflationary models.

His main claim is, "There may be new physics on the larger scales."

Offline Robert Thompson

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #89 on: 03/21/2013 09:06 AM »
Ok, so when / if you guys do the American version, hone in on preferential / asymmetries aligned with the ecliptic, and B-modes in the polarization data which they haven't analyzed yet.

Offline Robert Thompson

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #90 on: 03/21/2013 09:12 AM »
'Axis of Evil' is the vernacular for the asymmetry aligned with ecliptic. Observed in 2005.

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #91 on: 03/22/2013 09:03 AM »
Collection of papers about the results:

http://www.sciops.esa.int/index.php?project=PLANCK&page=Planck_Published_Papers

I have been skimming through some of them but I haven't found yet the detailed analysis paper relating to the lower refinement to the number of degrees of relativistic degrees of freedom (~3 neutrino families (standard ones), lowering from the higher average before)

Has anyone read it and can share the link?
-DaviD-

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #92 on: 03/22/2013 07:53 PM »
Collection of papers about the results:

http://www.sciops.esa.int/index.php?project=PLANCK&page=Planck_Published_Papers

I have been skimming through some of them but I haven't found yet the detailed analysis paper relating to the lower refinement to the number of degrees of relativistic degrees of freedom (~3 neutrino families (standard ones), lowering from the higher average before)

Has anyone read it and can share the link?

Paper XVI, mostly in section 6.2.

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #93 on: 03/23/2013 12:41 PM »
Collection of papers about the results:

http://www.sciops.esa.int/index.php?project=PLANCK&page=Planck_Published_Papers

I have been skimming through some of them but I haven't found yet the detailed analysis paper relating to the lower refinement to the number of degrees of relativistic degrees of freedom (~3 neutrino families (standard ones), lowering from the higher average before)

Has anyone read it and can share the link?

Paper XVI, mostly in section 6.2.


Great, thank you :)
-DaviD-

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #95 on: 04/29/2013 03:47 PM »
Press Release 
N°11-2013 
 
Paris, 29 April 2013 
 
Herschel closes its eyes on the Universe 
 
ESA's Herschel space observatory has exhausted, as planned, its supply of liquid helium coolant, concluding over three years of pioneering observations of the cool Universe. 
 
The mission began with over 2300 litres of liquid helium, which has been slowly evaporating since the final top-up the day before Herschel's launch on 14 May 2009. 
 
The evaporation of the liquid helium was essential to cool the observatory's instruments to close to absolute zero, allowing Herschel to make highly sensitive scientific observations of the cold Universe until today. 
 
The confirmation that the helium is finally exhausted came this afternoon at the beginning of the spacecraft's daily communication session with its ground station in Western Australia, with a clear rise in temperatures measured in all of Herschel's instruments. 
 
"Herschel has exceeded all expectations, providing us with an incredible treasure trove of data that will keep astronomers busy for many years to come," says Prof. Alvaro Giménez, ESA's Director of Science and Robotic Exploration. 
 
Herschel has made over 35 000 scientific observations, amassing more than 25 000 hours of science data from about 600 observing programmes. A further 2000 hours of calibration observations also contribute to the rich dataset, which is based at ESA's European Space Astronomy Centre, near Madrid in Spain. 
 
The archive will become the legacy of the mission. It is expected to provide even more discoveries than have been made during the lifetime of the Herschel mission. 
 
"Herschel's ground-breaking scientific haul is in no little part down to the excellent work done by European industry, institutions and academia in developing, building and operating the observatory and its instruments," adds Thomas Passvogel, ESA's Herschel and Planck Project Manager. 
 
The mission resulted in a number of technological advancements applicable to future space missions and potential spin-off technologies. The mission saw the development of advanced cryogenic systems, the construction of the largest telescope mirror ever flown in space, and the utilisation of the most sensitive direct detectors for light in the far-infrared to millimetre range. Manufacturing techniques enabling the Herschel mission have already been applied to the next generation of ESA's space missions, including Gaia. 
 
"Herschel has offered us a new view of the hitherto hidden Universe, pointing us to previously unseen processes of star birth and galaxy formation, and allowing us to trace water through the Universe from molecular clouds to newborn stars and their planet-forming discs and belts of comets," says Göran Pilbratt, ESA's Herschel Project Scientist.   
 
Star birth 
 
Herschel's stunning images of intricate networks of dust and gas filaments within our Milky Way Galaxy provide an illustrated history of star formation. These unique far-infrared observations have given astronomers a new insight into how turbulence stirs up gas in the interstellar medium, giving rise to a filamentary, web-like structure within cold molecular clouds.   
 
If conditions are right, gravity then takes over and fragments the filaments into compact cores. Deeply embedded inside these cores are protostars, the seeds of new stars that have gently heated their surrounding dust to just a few degrees above absolute zero, revealing their locations to Herschel's heat-sensitive eyes.   
 
Following the water trail 
 
Over the first few million years in the life of newborn stars, the formation of planets can be followed in the dense discs of gas and dust swirling around them. In particular, Herschel has been following the trail of water, a molecule crucial to life as we know it, from star-formation clouds to stars to planet-forming discs. 
 
Herschel has detected thousands of Earth ocean's worth of water vapour in these discs, with even greater quantities of ice locked up on the surface of dust grains and in comets.   
 
Closer to home, Herschel has also studied the composition of the water-ice in Comet Hartley-2, finding it to have almost exactly the same isotopic ratios as the water in our oceans.   
 
These findings fuel the debate about how much of Earth's water was delivered via impacting comets. Combined with the observations of massive comet belts around other stars, astronomers hope to understand whether a similar mechanism could be at play in other planetary systems, too.   
 
Galaxies across the Universe 
 
Herschel has also contributed to our knowledge of star formation on the grandest scales, spanning much of cosmic space and time. By studying star formation in distant galaxies, it has identified many that are forming stars at prodigious rates, even in the early years of the Universe's 13.8 billion-year life. 
 
These intense star-forming galaxies produce hundreds to thousands of solar masses' worth of stars each year. By comparison, our own Milky Way galaxy produces the equivalent of only one Sun-like star per year on average. 
 
How galaxies can support star formation on such massive scales during the first few billions of years of the Universe's existence is an unsolved mystery for scientists studying galaxy formation and evolution. Herschel observations are hinting that when the Universe was young, galaxies had much more gas to feed from, enabling high rates of star formation even in the absence of the collisions between galaxies normally needed to spark these spectacular bouts of star birth. 
 
 "Although this is the end of Herschel observing, it is certainly not the end of the mission - there are plenty more discoveries to come," says Dr Pilbratt.   
 
"We will now concentrate on making our data accessible in the form of the best possible maps, spectra and various catalogues to support the work of present and future astronomers. Nevertheless we're sad to see the end of this phase: thank you, Herschel!" 
 
Notes for Editors 
 
ESA's Herschel space observatory was launched on 14 May 2009 and, with a primary mirror 3.5 m across, is the largest, most powerful infrared telescope ever flown in space. Its two camera/imaging spectrometers, PACS (Photoconductor Array Camera and Spectrometer) and SPIRE (Spectral and Photometric Imaging Receiver), together covered wavelengths from 55 to 670 microns. A third science instrument, HIFI (Heterodyne Instrument for the Far Infrared), a very high resolution spectrometer, covered two wavelength bands, 157-212 microns and 240-625 microns. All three instruments were cooled to -271ºC inside a cryostat filled with liquid superfluid helium. The mission finally exhausted its coolant on 29 April 2013. 
 
Herschel will continue communicating with its ground stations for some time now that the helium is exhausted, during which a range of technical tests will be performed. Finally, in May, it will be propelled into its long-term stable parking orbit around the Sun. 
 

Offline robertross

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #96 on: 04/29/2013 06:03 PM »
RIP Herschel. Good job ESA. Hoping for great discoveries to come from the data!
Remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our rights & freedoms, and for those injured, visible or otherwise, in that fight.

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #97 on: 04/29/2013 09:46 PM »
See: http://www.designntrend.com/articles/4051/20130429/herschel-telescope-european-space-agency-nasa-observatory.htm

ESA says the mission of Herschel is over after just 3 years, it has run out of liquid He to keep it cool and as it warms, it no longer can resolve things.  Plans are to "pacify" it and then put it in a heliocentric parking orbit.

1 Billion Euros... Has it taken all the pictures it possibly could take, or was there useful science it could have done ? How much would it cost to re"fuel" it, if we assumed a robust ISRU based infrastructure, and that it had been built to support refueling?
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #98 on: 04/29/2013 10:18 PM »
See: http://www.designntrend.com/articles/4051/20130429/herschel-telescope-european-space-agency-nasa-observatory.htm

ESA says the mission of Herschel is over after just 3 years, it has run out of liquid He to keep it cool and as it warms, it no longer can resolve things.  Plans are to "pacify" it and then put it in a heliocentric parking orbit.

1 Billion Euros... Has it taken all the pictures it possibly could take, or was there useful science it could have done ? How much would it cost to re"fuel" it, if we assumed a robust ISRU based infrastructure, and that it had been built to support refueling?


sad about no refueling.
2017 - Everything Old is New Again.
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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #99 on: 04/29/2013 10:23 PM »
See: http://www.designntrend.com/articles/4051/20130429/herschel-telescope-european-space-agency-nasa-observatory.htm

ESA says the mission of Herschel is over after just 3 years, it has run out of liquid He to keep it cool and as it warms, it no longer can resolve things.  Plans are to "pacify" it and then put it in a heliocentric parking orbit.

1 Billion Euros... Has it taken all the pictures it possibly could take, or was there useful science it could have done ? How much would it cost to re"fuel" it, if we assumed a robust ISRU based infrastructure, and that it had been built to support refueling?


It needs LHe and not propellant.  LHe is not a ISRU commodity.   Also, it is not an orbit conductive to servicing.   Cheaper to launch an upgraded observatory.
« Last Edit: 04/29/2013 10:26 PM by Jim »

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #100 on: 04/29/2013 11:21 PM »
Just to add the announcement from NASA:

April 29, 2013

PASADENA, Calif. -- The Herschel observatory, a European space telescope for which NASA helped build instruments and process data, has stopped making observations after running out of liquid coolant as expected.

The European Space Agency mission, launched almost four years ago, revealed the universe's "coolest" secrets by observing the frigid side of planet, star and galaxy formation.

"Herschel gave us the opportunity to peer into the dark and cold regions of the universe that are invisible to other telescopes," said John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate at NASA headquarters in Washington. "This successful mission demonstrates how NASA and ESA can work together to tackle unsolved mysteries in astronomy."

Confirmation the helium is exhausted came today, at the beginning of the spacecraft's daily communication session with its ground station in Western Australia. A clear rise in temperatures was measured in all of Herschel's instruments.

Herschel launched aboard an Ariane 5 rocket from French Guiana in May 2009. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., built components for two of Herschel's three science instruments. NASA also supports the U.S. astronomical community through the agency's Herschel Science Center, located at the California Institute of Technology's Infrared Processing and Analysis Center in Pasadena.

Herschel's detectors were designed to pick up the glow from celestial objects with infrared wavelengths as long as 625 micrometers, which is 1,000 times longer than what we can see with our eyes. Because heat interferes with these devices, they were chilled to temperatures as low as 2 kelvins (minus 271 degrees Celsius, or 456 Fahrenheit) using liquid helium. The detectors also were kept cold by the spacecraft's orbit, which is around a stable point called the second Lagrange point about 930,000 miles (1.5 million kilometers) from Earth. This location gave Herschel a better view of the universe.

"Herschel has improved our understanding of how new stars and planets form, but has also raised many new questions," said Paul Goldsmith, NASA Herschel project scientist at JPL. "Astronomers will be following up on Herschel's discoveries with ground-based and future space-based observatories for years to come."

The mission will not be making any more observations, but discoveries will continue. Astronomers still are looking over the data, much of which already is public and available through NASA's Herschel Science Center. The final batch of data will be public in about six months.

"Our goal is to help the U.S. community exploit the nuggets of gold that lie in that data archive," said Phil Appleton, project scientist at the science center.

Highlights of the mission include:

-- Discovering long, filamentary structures in space, dotted with dense star-making knots of material.
-- Detecting definitively, for the first time, oxygen molecules in space, in addition to other never-before-seen molecules. By mapping the molecules in different regions, researchers are learning more about the life cycles of stars and planets and the origins of life.
-- Discovering high-speed outflows around central black holes in active galaxies, which may be clearing out surrounding regions and suppressing future star formation.
-- Opening new views on extremely distant galaxies that could be seen only with Herschel, and providing new information about their high rates of star formation.
-- Following the trail of water molecules from distant galaxies to the clouds of gas between stars to planet-forming solar systems.
-- Examining a comet in our own solar system and finding evidence comets could have brought a substantial fraction of water to Earth.
-- Together with NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, discovering a large asteroid belt around the bright star Vega.

Other findings from the mission include the discovery of some of the youngest stars ever seen in the nearby Orion "cradle," and a peculiar planet-forming disk of material surrounding the star TW Hydra, indicating planet formation may happen over longer periods of time than expected. Herschel also has shown stars interact with their environment in many surprising ways, including leaving trails as they move through clouds of gas and dust. More information is online at http://www.herschel.caltech.edu , http://www.nasa.gov/herschel and http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Herschel .
« Last Edit: 04/29/2013 11:22 PM by catdlr »
Tony De La Rosa

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #101 on: 04/30/2013 03:07 AM »

It needs LHe and not propellant.  LHe is not a ISRU commodity.   Also, it is not an orbit conductive to servicing.   Cheaper to launch an upgraded observatory.

I put "fuel" in quotes for a reason, I realise it's not a propellant. But it's a consumable. What upgrades would be worth doing, and why was the vehicle designed with only a 3 year life? As for the rest...

LHe is not an ISRU commodity TODAY. [1]
Herschel was not in an orbit conductive to servicing TODAY[2]

You're taking too short a view to answer my question.

1 - we will have a vast array of other chemicals produced via ISRU first
2 - we don't have a fleet of tugs that are constantly moving around among various orbits
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Online Ben the Space Brit

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #102 on: 04/30/2013 11:26 AM »
@ Lar,

The point Jim is making is that it is pointless talking about what might be available in the future as the spacecraft is unlikely to remain serviceable long enough for a servicing vehicle to be funded, designed, built and deployed.  That's assuming that it is possible to service Herschel in space, which I bet isn't the case.

There is an argument for designing future observatories to be upgradable and maintainable the way HST was.  However, that would require simultaneous development of the spacecraft, the resupply vehicle and transfer interface.  That would be costly; possibly justified but costly.  It would be a daring space agency that proposed that in the current economic environment.

If you want to add HST-style upgradability/repair capacity, that would cost even more and depend on SLS + a work platform or another large BLEO crew vehicle being available.
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Offline Lar

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #103 on: 04/30/2013 01:02 PM »
@ Lar,

The point Jim is making is that it is pointless talking about what might be available in the future as the spacecraft is unlikely to remain serviceable long enough for a servicing vehicle to be funded, designed, built and deployed.  That's assuming that it is possible to service Herschel in space, which I bet isn't the case.

There is an argument for designing future observatories to be upgradable and maintainable the way HST was.  However, that would require simultaneous development of the spacecraft, the resupply vehicle and transfer interface.  That would be costly; possibly justified but costly.  It would be a daring space agency that proposed that in the current economic environment.

If you want to add HST-style upgradability/repair capacity, that would cost even more and depend on SLS + a work platform or another large BLEO crew vehicle being available.

The point *I* am making is that if we keep doing one off PROJECTS, where we drop a billion here, 2 billion there, 8 billion there, instead of putting effort into infrastructure first, we will NEVER get beyond throwaway spacecraft. Any given project doesn't have the budget for infrastructure. So we muddle along wastefully.

Jim will never get that, I expect.
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Offline ohlongjohnson

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #104 on: 04/30/2013 02:04 PM »
I haven't found the answer to my question anywhere, so I am trying here. Is there anything Herschel will do once it has arrived in its parking orbit? Can some of the instruments still be used to do observations in wavelengths that are not affected by the increased temperatures?

thanks!

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #105 on: 04/30/2013 03:18 PM »
without helium, instruments are blind, but the radiation monitors are still working. these are standard ESA SREM detectors, copies of those mounted eg on XMM, Rosetta etc. I read somewhere that there was a proposal to keep them alive to return data. I don't know whether this will be done or not

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #106 on: 04/30/2013 03:24 PM »
found!
http://herschellife.blogspot.es/1342197754/july-12th-2012-218-days-to-nominal-end-of-helium/

Quote
The ESA Space Weather Team is keen to maintain Herschel operational as long as possible because of the information that it provides on the radiation environment in Deep Space. Herschel will finish observing just as we reach solar maximum, so any time that it can spend after solar maximum will be a tremendous bonus, particularly if it could observe for a full solar cycle. For this, it does not matter of Herschel is in the Earth-Sun L2, the Earth-Moon L2, or in heliocentric orbit: the environment is similar and totally different to that in low-Earth orbit, where most satellites are, protected by the Earth’s magnetic field.

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #107 on: 04/30/2013 03:55 PM »
thanks for the answers!

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #108 on: 04/30/2013 08:44 PM »
See: http://www.designntrend.com/articles/4051/20130429/herschel-telescope-european-space-agency-nasa-observatory.htm

ESA says the mission of Herschel is over after just 3 years, it has run out of liquid He to keep it cool and as it warms, it no longer can resolve things.  Plans are to "pacify" it and then put it in a heliocentric parking orbit.

1 Billion Euros... Has it taken all the pictures it possibly could take, or was there useful science it could have done ? How much would it cost to re"fuel" it, if we assumed a robust ISRU based infrastructure, and that it had been built to support refueling?


It needs LHe and not propellant.  LHe is not a ISRU commodity.   Also, it is not an orbit conductive to servicing.   Cheaper to launch an upgraded observatory.

Tsk, Jim. You're forgetting Lunar He3.

cheers, Martin

Offline baldusi

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #109 on: 04/30/2013 09:42 PM »
The point *I* am making is that if we keep doing one off PROJECTS, where we drop a billion here, 2 billion there, 8 billion there, instead of putting effort into infrastructure first, we will NEVER get beyond throwaway spacecraft. Any given project doesn't have the budget for infrastructure. So we muddle along wastefully.
Are you aware that Herchel was in SEL2? Did you even attempted to do the numbers to bring a few kilograms of Liquid He once each three years, or be an optimist and say once each 6 months? Have you considered that Liquid He will be lost and with a cryocooler you might get, at best, a couple of extra years?
Have you considered the process of refilling a craft that's been thermally stabilized to close to 40K? And the risk on the loss of pressurization system? Please remember that even Hydrogen solidifies at this temperatures.
Oh! And you want to take humans there. Have you considered the radiation exposure?
Have you even considered that Herchel's science objectives might have been achieved and further observations, while valuable, wouldn't be as ground braking?
Now, do the numbers to develop a reusable infrastructure to bring humans plus a small spacestation to SEL1/2 bi yearly, then add the savings on the science missions and tell me if you save anything. I'm most interested on your discount factors and risk modelling. I'll read your paper very carefully, I promise.

Offline Lar

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #110 on: 04/30/2013 10:27 PM »
Now, do the numbers to develop a reusable infrastructure to bring humans plus a small spacestation to SEL1/2 bi yearly, then add the savings on the science missions and tell me if you save anything. I'm most interested on your discount factors and risk modelling. I'll read your paper very carefully, I promise.

RIght. You'll never develop a business case evaluating one mission. No single mission cuts it.

Two engineers were asked to evaluate the business case for a new Hudson River crossing... seems it was suggested because all the current crossings stacked up bumper to bumper. They took a boat and went out in the middle of the river... then reported back.

"No business case! We were out there all day, and not a single car crossed at that location"

You guys are right. Let's just keep dumping billions into funding more Lewis and Clark expeditions, flags and footprints, etc... no business case for railroads.
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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #111 on: 04/30/2013 10:49 PM »
Now, do the numbers to develop a reusable infrastructure to bring humans plus a small spacestation to SEL1/2 bi yearly, then add the savings on the science missions and tell me if you save anything. I'm most interested on your discount factors and risk modelling. I'll read your paper very carefully, I promise.

RIght. You'll never develop a business case evaluating one mission. No single mission cuts it.

Two engineers were asked to evaluate the business case for a new Hudson River crossing... seems it was suggested because all the current crossings stacked up bumper to bumper. They took a boat and went out in the middle of the river... then reported back.

"No business case! We were out there all day, and not a single car crossed at that location"

You guys are right. Let's just keep dumping billions into funding more Lewis and Clark expeditions, flags and footprints, etc... no business case for railroads.
I've bolded the fact that I spoke in plural. Second, I asked you to do you case. I'm an economist and econometrist. I know a thing or two about supply and demand and present value.
I'm asking you to estimate the cost of the infrastructure and and savings that would justify it. If you want to assume a hundred science/tourism/whatever missions per year to SEL1/2, it's all right. I'll just ask you to tell me what's the value in general and how are they going to be financed. I'll give you a very professional assessment.
If you don't know how to value it, at least explain to me the technical side of the "infrastructure" and I'll tell you how many missions you'd need to actually make it worth it. But stating plainly that the true problem is lack of infrastructure to replenish/maintain/repair BEO robotic missions, is almost fanaticism.
I've stated on multiple times the need to do things long term, to never stop your technology development efforts, to invest at least a little in potential breakthrough technologies. But that can be backed by hard numbers. If you'd make that statement for LEO, we might have even had some reasonable discussion. But we're talking about places that can be argued to be BEO, with missions that costs hundred if not thousands of millions. I just want to know what sort of numbers you have in your head to state so plainly what you said. Or you don't have any numbers and are acting just on "faith"?
« Last Edit: 04/30/2013 10:50 PM by baldusi »

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #112 on: 04/30/2013 11:12 PM »
@ Lar,

The point Jim is making is that it is pointless talking about what might be available in the future as the spacecraft is unlikely to remain serviceable long enough for a servicing vehicle to be funded, designed, built and deployed.  That's assuming that it is possible to service Herschel in space, which I bet isn't the case.

There is an argument for designing future observatories to be upgradable and maintainable the way HST was.  However, that would require simultaneous development of the spacecraft, the resupply vehicle and transfer interface.  That would be costly; possibly justified but costly.  It would be a daring space agency that proposed that in the current economic environment.

If you want to add HST-style upgradability/repair capacity, that would cost even more and depend on SLS + a work platform or another large BLEO crew vehicle being available.

The point *I* am making is that if we keep doing one off PROJECTS, where we drop a billion here, 2 billion there, 8 billion there, instead of putting effort into infrastructure first, we will NEVER get beyond throwaway spacecraft. Any given project doesn't have the budget for infrastructure. So we muddle along wastefully.

Jim will never get that, I expect.

No, I get it.  You just don't get that:
A. NASA and all the other space agencies don't fly enough telescope  missions to justify such infrastructure, much less even science missions.  The bulk of NASA spacecraft go in unserviceable orbits.
B.  it is not NASA or the govt's job but industry's.
c.  Since there is no killer app, the market doesn't justify the investment in the infrastructure.

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #113 on: 04/30/2013 11:17 PM »
Now, do the numbers to develop a reusable infrastructure to bring humans plus a small spacestation to SEL1/2 bi yearly, then add the savings on the science missions and tell me if you save anything. I'm most interested on your discount factors and risk modelling. I'll read your paper very carefully, I promise.

RIght. You'll never develop a business case evaluating one mission. No single mission cuts it.

Two engineers were asked to evaluate the business case for a new Hudson River crossing... seems it was suggested because all the current crossings stacked up bumper to bumper. They took a boat and went out in the middle of the river... then reported back.

"No business case! We were out there all day, and not a single car crossed at that location"

You guys are right. Let's just keep dumping billions into funding more Lewis and Clark expeditions, flags and footprints, etc... no business case for railroads.

Your analogy not applicable to science missions, in addition to being wrong.  There was commerce already crossing the Hudson.  a few trips in a boat to gather fish for science would not justify the  "bridge"

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #114 on: 05/01/2013 11:19 AM »
You guys are right. Let's just keep dumping billions into funding more Lewis and Clark expeditions, flags and footprints, etc... no business case for railroads.

That's a false dichotomy. NASA could do expeditions without using orbital infrastructure and create enough demand for such infrastructure in the process. Spacecraft refueling at L1/L2 could be procured more or less today (for delivery a few years from now), and from several competing suppliers. That is enough for even very large and ambitious exploration missions.

Over time all the infrastructure we might need might be developed by the market based solely on that demand and any additional commercial demand it might generate. And if we care about cost-effective transportation, simply providing the demand for spacecraft propellant at L1/L2 and leaving the rest to the market might be one of the best ways to do it.
We will be vic-toooooo-ri-ous!!!

Offline bolun

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #115 on: 05/04/2013 05:10 PM »
Recent images from ESA's Herschel space observatory

http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Highlights/Herschel_images

Offline jacqmans

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #116 on: 05/22/2013 07:08 PM »
RELEASE: 13-151

HERSCHEL SPACE OBSERVATORY FINDS MEGA MERGER OF GALAXIES

WASHINGTON -- A massive and rare merging of two galaxies has been
spotted in images taken by the Herschel space observatory, a European
Space Agency mission with important NASA participation.

Follow-up studies by several telescopes on the ground and in space,
including NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and Spitzer Space Telescope,
tell a tale of two faraway galaxies intertwined and furiously making
stars. Eventually, the duo will settle down to form one super-giant
elliptical galaxy.

The findings help explain a mystery in astronomy. Back when our
universe was 3 billion to 4 billion years old, it was populated with
large reddish elliptical-shaped galaxies made up of old stars.
Scientists have wondered whether those galaxies built up slowly over
time through the acquisitions of smaller galaxies, or formed more
rapidly through powerful collisions between two large galaxies.

The new findings suggest massive mergers are responsible for the giant
elliptical galaxies.

"We're looking at a younger phase in the life of these galaxies -- an
adolescent burst of activity that won't last very long," said Hai Fu
of the University of California at Irvine, who is lead author of a
new study describing the results. The study is published in the May
22 online issue of Nature.

"These merging galaxies are bursting with new stars and completely
hidden by dust," said co-author Asantha Cooray, also of the
University of California at Irvine. "Without Herschel's far-infrared
detectors, we wouldn't have been able to see through the dust to the
action taking place behind."

Herschel, which operated for almost four years, was designed to see
the longest-wavelength infrared light. As expected, it recently ran
out of the liquid coolant needed to chill its delicate infrared
instruments. While its mission in space is over, astronomers still
are scrutinizing the data, and further discoveries are expected.

In the new study, Herschel was used to spot the colliding galaxies,
called HXMM01, located about 11 billion light-years from Earth,
during a time when our universe was about 3 billion years old. At
first, astronomers thought the two galaxies were just warped, mirror
images of one galaxy. Such lensed galaxies are fairly common in
astronomy and occur when the gravity from a foreground galaxy bends
the light from a more distant object. After a thorough investigation,
the team realized they were actually looking at a massive galaxy
merger.

Follow-up characterization revealed the duo is churning out the
equivalent of 2,000 stars a year. By comparison, our Milky Way
hatches about two to three stars a year. The total number of stars in
both colliding galaxies averages out to about 400 billion.

Mergers are fairly common in the cosmos, but this particular event is
more unusual because of the prolific amounts of gas and star
formation, and the sheer size of the merger at such a distant epoch.

The results go against the more popular model explaining how the
biggest galaxies arise: through minor acquisitions of small galaxies.
Instead, mega smash-ups may be doing the job.

NASA's Herschel Project Office is based at the agency's Jet Propulsion
Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, which contributed
mission-enabling technology for two of Herschel's three science
instruments. For more information, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/herschel

and

http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Herschel


Offline bolun

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #117 on: 10/03/2013 04:39 PM »
Herschel helps find elusive signals from the early Universe

1 October 2013

Using a telescope in Antarctica and ESA’s Herschel space observatory, astronomers have made the first detection of a subtle twist in the relic radiation from the Big Bang, paving the way towards revealing the first moments of the Universe’s existence.

The elusive signal was found in the way the first light in the Universe has been deflected during its journey to Earth by intervening galaxy clusters and dark matter, an invisible substance that is detected only indirectly through its gravitational influence.

The discovery points the way towards finding evidence for gravitational waves born during the Universe’s rapid ‘inflation’ phase, a crucial result keenly anticipated from ESA’s Planck mission.

The relic radiation from the Big Bang – the Cosmic Microwave Background, or CMB – was imprinted on the sky when the Universe was just 380 000 years old. Today, some 13.8 billion years later, we see it as a sky filled with radio waves at a temperature of just 2.7 degrees above absolute zero.

Tiny variations in this temperature – around a few tens of millionths of a degree – reveal density fluctuations in the early Universe corresponding to the seeds of galaxies and stars we see today. The most detailed all-sky map of temperature variations in the background was revealed by Planck in March.

But the CMB also contains a wealth of other information. A small fraction of the light is polarised, like the light we can see using polarised glasses. This polarised light has two distinct patterns: E-modes and B-modes.

E-modes were first found in 2002 with a ground-based telescope. B-modes, however, are potentially much more exciting to cosmologists, although much harder to detect.

They can arise in two ways. The first involves adding a twist to the light as it crosses the Universe and is deflected by galaxies and dark matter – a phenomenon known as gravitational lensing.

The second has its roots buried deep in the mechanics of a very rapid phase of enormous expansion of the Universe, which cosmologists believe happened just a tiny fraction of a second after the Big Bang – ‘inflation’.

The new study has combined data from the South Pole Telescope and Herschel to make the first detection of B-mode polarisation in the CMB due to gravitational lensing.

“This measurement was made possible by a clever and unique combination of ground-based observations from the South Pole Telescope – which measured the light from the Big Bang – with space-based observations from Herschel, which is sensitive to the galaxies that trace the dark matter which caused the gravitational lensing,” says Joaquin Vieira, of the California Institute of Technology and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, who led the Herschel survey used in the study.

http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Herschel/Herschel_helps_find_elusive_signals_from_the_early_Universe

Image credit: ESA and the Planck Collaboration

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #118 on: 10/14/2013 07:23 PM »

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #120 on: 10/21/2013 08:56 PM »

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Offline jacqmans

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #122 on: 10/23/2013 04:53 PM »
Paris, 23 October 2013   
   
Last command sent to ESA’s Planck space telescope   
   
ESA’s Planck space telescope has been turned off after nearly 4.5 years soaking up the relic radiation from the Big Bang and studying the evolution of stars and galaxies throughout the Universe’s history.
   
   
Mission controllers at ESA’s operations centre in Darmstadt, Germany sent the final command to the Planck satellite this afternoon marking the end of operations for ESA’s ‘time machine’.     
   
Launched in 2009, Planck was designed to tease out the faintest relic radiation from the Big Bang – the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB). The CMB preserves a picture of the Universe as it was about 380
000 years after the Big Bang, and provides details of the initial conditions that led to the Universe we live in today.     
   
 “Planck has provided us with more insight into the evolution of the Universe than any mission has before,” says Alvaro Giménez, ESA’s Director of Science and Robotic Exploration.     
   
“Planck’s picture of the CMB is the most accurate ‘baby photo’ of the Universe yet, but the wealth of data still being scrutinised by our cosmologists will provide us with even more details.”   
   
The mission began drawing to a close in August, when the satellite was nudged away from its operational orbit around the Sun–Earth ‘L2’ point towards a more distant long-term stable parking orbit around
the Sun.   
   
In the last weeks, the spacecraft has been prepared for permanent hibernation, with the closing activities using up all of the remaining fuel and finally switching off the transmitter.   
   
“It is with much sadness that we have carried out the final operations on the Planck spacecraft, but it is also a time to celebrate an extraordinarily successful mission,” says Steve Foley, the Planck Spacecraft
Operations Manager at ESA’s European Space Operations Centre (ESOC).   
   
“Planck was a sophisticated spacecraft flying a complex mission, but with tight teamwork from the mission controllers, flight dynamics specialists, ground stations and our industrial partners, Europe received
excellent scientific value for its investment,” adds Paolo Ferri, Head of Mission Operations.     
   
ESA member states provided key technologies such as the innovative cooler that allowed the mission’s instrumentation to be maintained at just one-tenth of a degree above the coldest temperature reachable
in the Universe, –273.15°C, so that the spacecraft’s own heat did not swamp the signal from the sky. This enabled temperature variations of just a few millionths of a degree to be distinguished in the CMB.
   
   
But cooling instruments to these extreme temperatures cannot be maintained forever and, indeed, the High Frequency Instrument (HFI) exhausted its liquid helium coolant in January 2012, just as expected.
   
   
The Low Frequency Instrument (LFI) meanwhile was able to operate at somewhat higher temperatures using the remaining two coolers and continued making observations until 3 October. After conducting post-science
activities, it was manually switched off on 19 October.     
   
The mission’s original target was to complete two whole surveys of the sky but, in the end, Planck completed five full-sky surveys with both instruments. Moreover, by mid-August, LFI had completed its eighth
survey of the entire sky.   
   
“Planck continued using LFI right up until last week, exceeding all expectations and providing us with bountiful data to work with in the future,” says Jan Tauber, ESA’s Planck project scientist.   
The first detailed image of the faint signal from the CMB from Planck was released earlier this year, after foreground emission from our own Milky Way Galaxy as well as all other galaxies had been removed.
These latter data resulted in a new catalogue of objects, including many never-before-seen galaxy clusters in the distant Universe.     
   
The 2013 data release provided revised values for the relative proportions of the ingredients of the Universe, namely normal matter that makes up stars and galaxies, dark matter, which has thus far only
been detected indirectly by its gravitational influence, and dark energy, a mysterious force thought to be responsible for accelerating the expansion of the Universe.   
   
“Planck has given us a fresh look at the matter that makes up our Universe and how it evolved, but we are still working hard to further constrain our understanding of how the Universe expanded from the
infinitely small to the extraordinarily large, details which we hope to share next year,” says Dr Tauber.     
   
More information   
For more on Planck’s science highlights, see our article published on 18 October: Celebrating the legacy of ESA’s Planck mission.   
   
About Planck   
Launched in 2009, Planck was designed to map the sky in nine frequencies using two state-of-the-art instruments: the Low Frequency Instrument, which includes the frequency bands 30–70 GHz, and the High
Frequency Instrument, which includes the frequency bands 100–857 GHz. HFI completed its survey in January 2012, while LFI continued to make science observations until 3 October 2013, before being switched
off on 19 October.   
   
Planck’s first all-sky image was released in 2010 and the first scientific data were released in 2011. The first image of the CMB was released in March 2013. The next set of cosmology data will be released
in 2014.   
   
The Planck Scientific Collaboration consists of all the scientists who have contributed to the development of the mission, and who participate in the scientific exploitation of the data during the proprietary
period. These scientists are members of one or more of four consortia: the LFI Consortium, the HFI Consortium, the DK-Planck Consortium, and ESA’s Planck Science Office. The two European-led Planck Data
Processing Centres are located in Paris, France and Trieste, Italy.   
   
The LFI consortium is led by N. Mandolesi, Agenzia Spaziale Italiana ASI, Italy (deputy PI: M. Bersanelli, Universita’ degli Studi di Milano, Italy), and was responsible for the development and operation
of LFI. The HFI consortium is led by J.L. Puget, Institut d’Astrophysique Spatiale in Orsay, France (deputy PI: F. Bouchet, Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris, France), and was responsible for the development
and operation of HFI.   

Online eeergo

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #123 on: 10/23/2013 05:06 PM »
Planck has been taken out of its L2 orbit and into a heliocentric graveyard orbit, its propulsion systems have been passivated, depleting its hydrazine, and the final command to switch off all of its remaining systems, including the transmitter, has been executed.

http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Planck/Last_command_sent_to_ESA_s_Planck_space_telescope

Farewell, but remember the data it collected will continue to be analyzed for many years to come! The next, very expected result is the B-component (magnetic) of the CMB polarization, expected for next year, which will provide much-anticipated data on dark matter distribution, inflation, gravity waves and CMB parameters and perturbations.

As a tribute, some selected slides from a very nice presentation from Dr M. Tomasi (INA, Milan) that I had the opportunity to attend last month.
-DaviD-

Offline catdlr

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #124 on: 01/22/2014 08:21 PM »
Jan. 22, 2014
RELEASE 14-021

Herschel Telescope Detects Water on Dwarf Planet


Scientists using the Herschel space observatory have made the first definitive detection of water vapor on the largest and roundest object in the asteroid belt, Ceres.

Plumes of water vapor are thought to shoot up periodically from Ceres when portions of its icy surface warm slightly. Ceres is classified as a dwarf planet, a solar system body bigger than an asteroid and smaller than a planet.
Herschel is a European Space Agency (ESA) mission with important NASA contributions.

"This is the first time water vapor has been unequivocally detected on Ceres or any other object in the asteroid belt and provides proof that Ceres has an icy surface and an atmosphere," said Michael Küppers of ESA in Spain, lead author of a paper in the journal Nature.

The results come at the right time for NASA's Dawn mission, which is on its way to Ceres now after spending more than a year orbiting the large asteroid Vesta. Dawn is scheduled to arrive at Ceres in the spring of 2015, where it will take the closest look ever at its surface.

"We've got a spacecraft on the way to Ceres, so we don't have to wait long before getting more context on this intriguing result, right from the source itself," said Carol Raymond, the deputy principal investigator for Dawn at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif. "Dawn will map the geology and chemistry of the surface in high-resolution, revealing the processes that drive the outgassing activity."

For the last century, Ceres was known as the largest asteroid in our solar system. But in 2006, the International Astronomical Union, the governing organization responsible for naming planetary objects, reclassified Ceres as a dwarf planet because of its large size. It is roughly 590 miles (950 kilometers) in diameter. When it first was spotted in 1801, astronomers thought it was a planet orbiting between Mars and Jupiter. Later, other cosmic bodies with similar orbits were found, marking the discovery of our solar system's main belt of asteroids.
Scientists believe Ceres contains rock in its interior with a thick mantle of ice that, if melted, would amount to more fresh water than is present on all of Earth. The materials making up Ceres likely date from the first few million years of our solar system's existence and accumulated before the planets formed.

Until now, ice had been theorized to exist on Ceres but had not been detected conclusively. It took Herschel's far-infrared vision to see, finally, a clear spectral signature of the water vapor. But Herschel did not see water vapor every time it looked. While the telescope spied water vapor four different times, on one occasion there was no signature.

Here is what scientists think is happening: when Ceres swings through the part of its orbit that is closer to the sun, a portion of its icy surface becomes warm enough to cause water vapor to escape in plumes at a rate of about 6 kilograms (13 pounds) per second. When Ceres is in the colder part of its orbit, no water escapes.

The strength of the signal also varied over hours, weeks and months, because of the water vapor plumes rotating in and out of Herschel's views as the object spun on its axis. This enabled the scientists to localize the source of water to two darker spots on the surface of Ceres, previously seen by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and ground-based telescopes. The dark spots might be more likely to outgas because dark material warms faster than light material. When the Dawn spacecraft arrives at Ceres, it will be able to investigate these features.

The results are somewhat unexpected because comets, the icier cousins of asteroids, are known typically to sprout jets and plumes, while objects in the asteroid belt are not.

"The lines are becoming more and more blurred between comets and asteroids," said Seungwon Lee of JPL, who helped with the water vapor models along with Paul von Allmen, also of JPL. "We knew before about main belt asteroids that show comet-like activity, but this is the first detection of water vapor in an asteroid-like object."

The research is part of the Measurements of 11 Asteroids and Comets Using Herschel (MACH-11) program, which used Herschel to look at small bodies that have been or will be visited by spacecraft, including the targets of NASA's previous Deep Impact mission and upcoming Origins Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-Rex). Laurence O' Rourke of the European Space Agency is the principal investigator of the MACH-11 program.
 
More information about Herschel is online at:
http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Herschel
More information about NASA's role in Herschel is available at:
http://www.nasa.gov/herschel
For more information about NASA's Dawn mission, visit:
http://www.nasa.gov/dawn
-end-

 

Dwarf planet Ceres is located in the main asteroid belt, between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, as illustrated in this artist's conception. Observations by the Herschel space observatory between 2011 and 2013 find that the dwarf planet has a thin water vapor atmosphere.
Image Credit: ESA/ATG medialab
Tony De La Rosa

Offline bolun

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #125 on: 03/19/2014 11:24 AM »
Herschel completes largest survey of cosmic dust in local Universe

18 March 2014

The largest census of dust in local galaxies has been completed using data from ESA’s Herschel space observatory, providing a huge legacy to the scientific community.

http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Herschel/Herschel_completes_largest_survey_of_cosmic_dust_in_local_Universe

Image credit: ESA/Herschel/HRS-SAG2 and HeViCS Key Programmes/Sloan Digital Sky Survey/ L. Cortese (Swinburne University)

Offline bolun

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #126 on: 04/04/2015 06:02 PM »
Herschel and Planck find missing clue to galaxy cluster formation

31 March 2015

By combining observations of the distant Universe made with ESA's Herschel and Planck space observatories, cosmologists have discovered what could be the precursors of the vast clusters of galaxies that we see today.

http://sci.esa.int/planck/55713-herschel-and-planck-find-missing-clue-to-galaxy-cluster-formation/

Credit: ESA and the Planck Collaboration/ H. Dole, D. Guéry & G. Hurier, IAS/University Paris-Sud/CNRS/CNES

Offline bolun

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #127 on: 07/10/2015 08:03 PM »
New tool for Astronomers – Second Planck Catalogue of Compact Sources Released

09 July 2015

ESA's Planck mission is the source for a new catalogue, eagerly awaited by the scientific community, and available online from today. The Second Planck Catalogue of Compact Sources uses data from the entire mission to identify tens of thousands of compact sources, as well as providing polarisation data for several hundred of them. The new catalogue surpasses its predecessors not only in the quantity of sources but also in the quality of data. It will be an asset to astronomers working in a wide range of fields.

http://sci.esa.int/planck/56087-new-tool-for-astronomers-second-planck-catalogue-of-compact-sources-released/

Credits: ESA and the Planck Collaboration
« Last Edit: 07/10/2015 08:04 PM by bolun »

Offline bolun

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #128 on: 08/19/2015 08:36 AM »
Planck Legacy Archive: 2015 data delivery is complete

10 August 2015

ESA's Planck mission has achieved a significant milestone. The 2015 data delivery to the Planck Legacy Archive, which hosts the mission products, is now complete. The new version of the archive comprises a full record of the data and results from the mission.

http://sci.esa.int/planck/56288-planck-legacy-archive-is-complete/

Credits: ESA and the Planck Collaboration

Offline Star One

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ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #129 on: 11/01/2015 07:39 PM »
Read this article in the current issue of New Scientist and it is taken from an analysis of Planck data.

Mystery bright spots could be first glimpse of another universe

Quote
THE curtain at the edge of the universe may be rippling, hinting that there’s more backstage. Data from the European Space Agency’s Planck telescope could be giving us our first glimpse of another universe, with different physics, bumping up against our own.

That’s the tentative conclusion of an analysis by Ranga-Ram Chary, a researcher at Planck’s US data centre in California. Armed with Planck’s painstaking map of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) – light lingering from the hot, soupy state of the early universe – Chary revealed an eerie glow that could be due to matter from a neighbouring universe leaking into ours.

This sort of collision should be possible, according to modern cosmological theories that suggest the universe we see is just one bubble among many. Such a multiverse may be a consequence of cosmic inflation, the widely accepted idea that the early universe expanded exponentially in the slimmest fraction of a second after the big bang.

https://www.newscientist.com/article/mystery-bright-spots-could-be-first-glimpse-of-another-universe/
« Last Edit: 11/01/2015 07:44 PM by Star One »

Offline jgoldader

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #130 on: 11/01/2015 11:46 PM »
The money quotes in the article come from Spergel and Silk.  Claiming (possible) discovery of another universe requires rather more evidence...  Good grief, I hate "science by press release."
Recovering astronomer

Offline Star One

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #131 on: 11/02/2015 06:20 AM »

The money quotes in the article come from Spergel and Silk.  Claiming (possible) discovery of another universe requires rather more evidence...  Good grief, I hate "science by press release."

Well the author of this paper himself states it requires more observations, especially with the ever present issue of dust which already did for the claimed discovery of primordial gravity waves.

Offline bolun

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #132 on: 06/25/2017 08:34 PM »
New catalogues for Herschel legacy archive

20 June 2017

Two new catalogues, based on data from ESA's Herschel Space Observatory, have been released to the scientific community. The point source catalogues are examples of a new type of data product from two of Herschel's instruments, SPIRE and PACS. These catalogues are part of the lasting legacy of the Herschel mission, and will further facilitate data exploitation and drive ongoing research.

http://sci.esa.int/herschel/59222-new-catalogues-for-herschel-legacy-archive/

Credits: ESA/NASA/Herschel/SPIRE and ESA/Herschel/PACS

Offline bolun

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Re: ESA - Herschel and Planck updates
« Reply #133 on: 11/15/2017 08:17 AM »
Herschel discovers galaxy merger in the very early Universe

13 November 2017

What seemed at first like a rare instance of a huge, ancient galaxy revealed itself to be an even rarer pair of extremely massive galaxies, seen on the brink of merging when the Universe was only a billion years old.

http://sci.esa.int/herschel/59767-herschel-discovers-galaxy-merger-in-the-very-early-universe/

Image credit: NRAO/AUI/NSF, B. Saxton; ESA/Herschel; ESO/APEX; ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO); D. Riechers et al. 2017

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