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.

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 September 21, 2014 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 September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Space & Time News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

MIT BioSuit A New Take On Traditional Spacesuits

MIT BioSuit A New Take On Traditional Spacesuits

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The MIT BioSuit could be an alternative to big, bulky traditional spacesuits, but the concept needs some work. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Boeing, SpaceX to Send Astronauts to Space Station

Boeing, SpaceX to Send Astronauts to Space Station

AFP (Sep. 17, 2014) NASA selected Boeing and SpaceX on Tuesday to build America's next spacecraft to carry astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) by 2017, opening the way to a new chapter in human spaceflight. Duration: 01:13 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
East Coast Treated To Rare Meteor Sighting

East Coast Treated To Rare Meteor Sighting

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) Numerous residents along the East Coast reported seeing a bright meteor flash through the sky Sunday night. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 16, 2014) Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' startup will team up with Boeing and Lockheed to develop rocket engines as Elon Musk races to have his rockets certified. Fred Katayama reports. 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:
from the past week

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