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Herschel Articles

Water Vapor Discovered on Dwarf Planet Ceres

Astronomers today announced that water vapor has been detected around Ceres. Ceres is the largest object in our solar system’s asteroid belt and has been classified as a dwarf planet, like Pluto. The discovery is the first time water vapor …

Argon Hydride Detected in Crab Nebula

Researchers this week revealed that a rare molecule has been spotted in the Crab Nebula. The molecule, Argon Hydride, was found in data collected by the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Herschel Space Observatory, which ran out of coolant and ended …

Astronomers Find “Twist” in Cosmic Microwave Background

Astronomers this week announced that they have found a “twist” in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation that blankets the universe. To be more specific, researchers have detected B-mode polarization in the CMB caused by gravitational lensing. What this means …

One Last Look at Herschel as it Flies Away

Back at the end of April, the European Space Agency’s Herschel space observatory ran out of its liquid helium coolant. The coolant was used to cool the telescope’s instruments to near absolute zero, enabling it to observe infrared light coming …

Herschel Telescope Given its Final Command

Over one month ago, the European Space Agency (ESA) announced that the Herschel space observatory had run out of liquid helium coolant. The coolant was necessary to cool the telescope’s instruments to near absolute zero. As planned, the powerful infrared …

Herschel Telescope Runs Out of Coolant, Ends Mission

The European Space Agency (ESA) today announced that the Herschel space observatory has run out of liquid helium coolant. The coolant is necessary to cool the telescope’s instruments to near absolute zero. Herschel’s ground station in Western Australia this afternoon …

Late Planet-Forming Star Spotted by Herschel

NASA and the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Herschel Space Telescope has spotted a planet-forming star that wasn’t thought to be possible. The star, named TW Hydrae, is estimated to be 10 million years old – older than the age at …

Vega Asteroid Belt Suggests Multiple Planets

Astronomers this week announced that they have discovered what could be an asteroid belt around the star Vega. NASA‘s Spitzer space telescope and the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Herschel Space Observatory were used to observe the star, which is the …

NASA Releases a “Game” to Crowd-Source Cloud Classification

NASA this week has launched a “game” that allows anyone to identify galactic clouds in a series of photos. The game, called Clouds, is part of the Milky Way Project, which helps astronomers crowd source data sorting. It can be …

Astronomers Reveal Unseen Starburst Galaxies

Astronomers announced today that have characterized hundreds of previously unseen starburst galaxies. The starburst galaxies, which produce hundreds of stars each year, reveal that high star-formation rates have been the norm for much of our universe’s history. Using the European …

Astronomers Spot Massive Comet Belts in Nearby Systems

Astronomers using the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Herschel space observatory have discovered massive comet belts orbiting two nearby planetary systems. The systems, named GJ 581 and 61 Vir, are known to host planets that range in mass from Earth-sized to …

ESA Releases New Supernova Remnant Photo

The European Space Agency (ESA) has released a new image of the aftershock of a supernova remnant named W44. The image, seen above, combines infrared and X-ray light captured by the ESA’s Herschel and XMM-Newton space observatories. W44 is located …