Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Witnessing The Birth Of Galaxies And Stars

Date:
February 13, 2005
Source:
Cardiff University
Summary:
Experts at Cardiff University, UK, are designing and building highly sophisticated equipment, which will travel deep into space to enable scientists to look back in time to observe the formation of galaxies and stars.

The Herschel Space Observatory is the fourth cornerstone mission in ESA's Horizon 2000 programme, scheduled for launch in 2007. A 3.5 m diameter telescope, passively cooled to around 70 K, will feed a suite of three cold focal plane instruments providing high-throughput spectroscopy and photometry in the 85 m – 700 m range. The instruments will be contained in a liquid helium cryostat with an operational lifetime of at least three years.

Experts at Cardiff University, UK, are designing and building highly sophisticated equipment, which will travel deep into space to enable scientists to look back in time to observe the formation of galaxies and stars.

Related Articles


A team in the School of Physics and Astronomy is heading an international consortium, led by Cardiff's Professor Matt Griffin, to produce SPIRE. This is a three-colour camera and spectrometer, which will be launched aboard the European Space Agency's Herschel Space Observatory in 2007.

It will detect radiation at very long wavelengths, revealing distant galaxies - up to 10 billion light years away - which are invisible to other telescopes. This is equivalent to looking up to 10 billion years into the past, and hence SPIRE will be able to view distant galaxies in their early stages of formation. SPIRE will also be able to look at closer clouds of dust and gas in our own galaxy, and view the formation of stars in "stellar nurseries".

The Cardiff team, led by Dr Peter Hargrave, has worked with engineering experts in the University's Manufacturing Engineering Centre (MEC) to produce highly specialised lenses and sophisticated Kevlar supports for SPIRE's sensors. These sensors have to be kept at -273 C (0.3 degrees above absolute zero — the lowest possible temperature) in order to detect this long-wavelength radiation.

The production of the lenses was itself a complex operation, involving a technique called "hot embossing," which ensures the material maintains its original characteristics even at -273 C.

In order to keep the detectors so cold, the detectors and cooling system have to be thermally isolated from all the other equipment. So the MEC's experts have manufactured components for a sophisticated Kevlar "cat's cradle" to suspend the detector housings.

"This is a very important and exciting project," said Dr Hargrave. "Cardiff is playing a central role — not just through the science, but in the technical challenges of engineering the sophisticated equipment to mak


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cardiff University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Cardiff University. "Witnessing The Birth Of Galaxies And Stars." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 February 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/02/050205074324.htm>.
Cardiff University. (2005, February 13). Witnessing The Birth Of Galaxies And Stars. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/02/050205074324.htm
Cardiff University. "Witnessing The Birth Of Galaxies And Stars." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/02/050205074324.htm (accessed March 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Space & Time News

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

What NASA Wants To Learn From Its 'Year In Space' Tests

What NASA Wants To Learn From Its 'Year In Space' Tests

Newsy (Mar. 28, 2015) Astronaut Scott Kelly and cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko will spend a year in space running tests on human physiology and psychology. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Crew Starts One-Year Space Mission

Crew Starts One-Year Space Mission

Reuters - News Video Online (Mar. 28, 2015) Russian-U.S. crew arrives safely at the International Space Station for the start of a ground-breaking year-long stay. Paul Chapman reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why So Many People Think NASA's Asteroid Mission Is A Waste

Why So Many People Think NASA's Asteroid Mission Is A Waste

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) The Asteroid Retrieval Mission announced this week bears little resemblance to its grand beginnings. Even NASA scientists are asking, "Why bother?" Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Space Station Crew Docks Safely

Space Station Crew Docks Safely

Reuters - News Video Online (Mar. 27, 2015) NASA TV footage shows the successful docking of a Russian Soyuz craft to the International Space Station for a year-long mission. Rough cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins