Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Instrument To Study Previously Unexplored Part Of Universe To Be Installed On Europe's Herschel Spacecraft

Date:
April 3, 2007
Source:
Science and Technology Facilities Council
Summary:
A UK-led instrument which will study a previously unexplored part of the universe leaves the UK this week to be installed on the European Space Agency's Herschel spacecraft in Germany.

Artist's impression of Herschel.
Credit: ESA

A UK-led instrument which will study a previously unexplored part of the Universe leaves the UK this week to be installed on the European Space Agency's Herschel spacecraft in Germany.

Herschel, a multi purpose space observatory, is scheduled to launch in 2008, in a dual configuration with ESA's cosmic microwave background mission, Planck. The spacecraft will view the Universe in the far and sub-millimetre wavelength bands and will study the process of how stars form and evolve. As well as looking at our own galaxy and its evolution, Herschel will look at how galaxies formed in the early Universe on a grand scale.

Professor Keith Mason, CEO of the Science and Technology Facilities Council, said, "What is particularly exciting about Herschel is that it will be able to study, in an unrestricted way, a large area of the Universe (between 200 and 400 microns) that cannot be viewed from Earth. The instruments onboard really will be probing the hidden areas of our Universe."

With a sophisticated payload the spacecraft will also be able to study the atmospheres around planets, comets and satellites. There are three instruments onboard Herschel:- SPIRE (Spectral and Photometric Imaging Receiver), HIFI (the Heterodyne Instrument for the Far Infrared) and PACS (Photodetector Array Camera and Spectrometer).

The SPIRE instrument has been built, assembled and tested at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire by an international consortium from Europe, US, Canada and China. Professor Matt Griffin from Cardiff University who is Principal Investigator for SPIRE said, "SPIRE is designed to exploit Herschel's unique capabilities in addressing two of the most prominent questions in astrophysics:- how and when did galaxies form and how do stars form?"

He adds, "Herschel will have the largest astronomical telescope yet flown in space, and it will cover a part of the spectrum that is vital to our knowledge of the universe, but poorly studied so far. Previous missions with much smaller telescopes have started to look at this area, and now Herschel will do so with far better sensitivity and image quality.

SPIRE is being transported to Astrium's test facility in Friedrichschafen in Germany where it will be tested alongside the other instruments before being assembled onto the spacecraft next year.

Eric Sawyer, SPIRE Project Manager from Rutherford Appleton Laboratory said, "SPIRE is made up of three elements -- the focal plane unit which will be inside the Herschel cryostat, responsible for keeping all the spacecraft's instrumentation cool, and two boxes of warm electronics which will be used to control the instrument and collect data. This is a huge milestone for the SPIRE team, many of whom have been working on the project since its initial conception more than a decade ago."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Science and Technology Facilities Council. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Science and Technology Facilities Council. "Instrument To Study Previously Unexplored Part Of Universe To Be Installed On Europe's Herschel Spacecraft." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 April 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070403112242.htm>.
Science and Technology Facilities Council. (2007, April 3). Instrument To Study Previously Unexplored Part Of Universe To Be Installed On Europe's Herschel Spacecraft. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070403112242.htm
Science and Technology Facilities Council. "Instrument To Study Previously Unexplored Part Of Universe To Be Installed On Europe's Herschel Spacecraft." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070403112242.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Space & Time News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Supply Ship Takes Off for International Space Station

Supply Ship Takes Off for International Space Station

AFP (July 30, 2014) The European Space Agency's fifth Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV-5) is takes off to the International Space Station on an Ariane 5 rocket from French Guiana. Duration: 00:34 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship

Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship

AP (July 30, 2014) Arianespace launched a rocket Tuesday from French Guiana carrying a robotic cargo ship to deliver provisions to the International Space Station. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast

In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast

AP (July 30, 2014) Every summer, tourists make the pilgrimage to Chincoteague Island, Va. to see wild ponies cross the Assateague Channel. But, it's the rockets sending to supplies to the International Space Station that are making this a year-round destination. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Newsy (July 27, 2014) The satellite is back under ground control after a tense few days, but with a gecko sex experiment on board, the media just couldn't help themselves. Video provided by Newsy
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