Results tagged “Herschel”

Herschel's View of the Galactic Plane

ESA's Herschel mission releases today a series of unprecedented maps of star-forming hubs in the plane of our Milky Way galaxy.

Star formation is taking place all around us. The Milky Way is laced with clouds of dust and gas that could become the nursery of the next generation of stars

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.

The majority of the stars in our Galaxy, the Milky Way, reside in a single huge disc, known as the Galactic Plane, spanning 100 000 light-years across. The Sun also resides in this crowded stellar hub, lying roughly halfway between its centre and its outer edges.

The nearby star Fomalhaut A hosts the most famous planetary system outside our own solar system, containing both an exoplanet and a spectacular ring of comets.

Herschel's 37,000 Science Observations

This animation shows the timeline of over 37 000 scientific observations made by ESA's Herschel space observatory throughout its entire mission, condensed into less than a minute.

Galactic Bubble

Nestled within the shell around this large bubble is an embryonic star that is already a hefty eight times more massive than our Sun.

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.

ESA's Herschel space observatory has solved a long-standing mystery as to the origin of water in the upper atmosphere of Jupiter, finding conclusive evidence that it was delivered by the dramatic impact of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 in July 1994.

Hunting High-mass Stars with Herschel

In this new view of a vast star-forming cloud called W3, ESA's Herschel space observatory tells the story of how massive stars are born.

Astronomers have found some of the youngest stars ever seen, thanks to the Herschel space observatory, a European Space Agency mission with important NASA contributions.

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.

Stars Can Be Late Parents

Using the unique capabilities of ESA's Herschel space observatory, astronomers have accurately 'weighed' a star's disc, finding it still has enough mass to spawn 50 Jupiter-sized planets, several million years after most other stars have already given birth.

Andromeda's Colorful Rings

The ring-like swirls of dust filling the Andromeda galaxy stand out colorfully in this new image from the Herschel Space Observatory, a European Space Agency mission with important NASA participation.

An Asteroid Belt Around Vega?

Astronomers have discovered what appears to be a large asteroid belt around the star Vega, the second brightest star in northern night skies. The scientists used data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and the European Space Agency's (ESA) Herschel Space Observatory, in which NASA plays an important role.

The Herschel Space Observatory Needs You

"Astronomers using Europe's Herschel Space Observatory are asking the public to help find holes in the dust clouds that are threaded through our galaxy. By looking at the images from Herschel, combined with those from NASA's Spitzer satellite, members of the public are invited to join the science effort by helping to distinguish between dense clumps of cold dust and holes in the dusty clouds that are threaded through our galaxy. Dust clouds don't come in simple shapes, and so the process of distinguishing between dark clouds and holes is incredibly difficult to do. Luckily, the ideal tool is at hand: the human eye. The problem proved more complex than the team had anticipated. "The problem is that clouds of interstellar dust don't come in handy easy-to-recognize shapes", Derek explained. "The images are too messy for computers to analyze, and there are too many for us to go through ourselves". This is where the Zooniverse comes in, with its community of citizen scientists poised ready to help out. The new images are part of the Milky Way Project, which launched 2 years ago and, through the efforts of over 40,000 volunteers, has already created astronomy's largest catalogue of star-forming bubbles, as well as a plethora of nearby star clusters, distant galaxies and more. The Milky Way Project volunteers are excellent at measuring and mapping our galaxy." More

A Census of the Invisible Universe

By combining the observing powers of ESA's Herschel space observatory and the ground-based Keck telescopes, astronomers have characterized hundreds of previously unseen starburst galaxies, revealing extraordinary high star-formation rates across the history of the universe.

Using ESA's Herschel space observatory, astronomers have discovered vast comet belts surrounding two nearby planetary systems known to host only Earth-to-Neptune-mass worlds. The comet reservoirs could have delivered life-giving oceans to the innermost planets.

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.

Flying along the Vela ridge

A beautiful blue butterfly flutters towards a nest of warm dust and gas, above an intricate network of cool filaments in this image of the Vela C region by ESA's Herschel space observatory.

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