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+ - Andromeda Galaxy seen in a New Light->

Submitted by davecl
davecl (233127) writes "The European Space Agency has released new images of our nearest neighbour galaxy, the Andromeda Galaxy or M31, in both the far-infrared from Herschel and in X-rays from XMM. The Herschel images show regions where stars are forming and where starlight is hidden by dust while the X-Ray data reveals the cinders left when stars have died. Combined with existing optical data these images give us a picture of Andromeda as an active, evolving galaxy, where the action moves from pace to place over cosmic time. More information available from the Herschel mission blog (which I run) and form the BBC."
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Space

+ - First Full Science Results from Herschel-> 1

Submitted by davecl
davecl (233127) writes "Today the first full science results from the Herschel Space Observatory were released, including results ranging from the formation and evolution of galaxies to the detailed physics of star formation. Details can be found from The European Space Agency, the BBC, and the Herschel mission blog that I help maintain. Briefer reports, covering rather more of the science, can also be found under the #eslab2010 hashtag on Twitter."
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Space

+ - Planck Mission releases Images of Galactic Dust->

Submitted by davecl
davecl (233127) writes "The Planck satellite has released its first new science images, showing the large scale filamentary structure of cold dust in our own galaxy. This release coincides with the completion of its first survey of the entire sky, a couple of weeks ago. There's lots more work to be done, and more observations to be made, before results are ready on the Big Bang, but these images demonstrate Planck's performance and capability. Read more on the Planck mission blog (which I maintain)."
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Comment: Re:"Scientific rights"? WTF? (Score 2, Informative) 91

by davecl (#30459462) Attached to: Herschel's First Science Results, Eagle Nebula

The actual numbers that go to make up these images are needed to do any science with them - only a fool would try to do science with a JPEG image, but this does happen. The 'scientific rights' refer to the use of the raw numbers for these images in scientific papers. These rights apply for about 1 year after the observations are taken so that the team that has spent years building the instrument and sorting out its science can benefit. This data then becomes completely public.

Space

+ - Herschel first science results: Eagle Nebula

Submitted by davecl
davecl (233127) writes "Over the next three days many new science results will come out from Herschel. The first of these, a view deep inside the stellar nursery of the Eagle Nebula finds a huge amount of activity, revealing new stars and filaments of dust that could not have been detected by previous telescopes. Also open today is OSHI, the online showcase of Herschel images where all the new science images will be found. Herschel news also available on the Herschel Mission Blog."
Space

Herschel Spectroscopy of Future Supernova 21

Posted by Soulskill
from the that's-a-big-star dept.
davecl writes "ESA's Herschel Space Telescope has released its first spectroscopic results. These include observations of VYCMa, a star 50 times as massive as the sun and soon to become a supernova, as well as a nearby galaxy, more distant colliding starburst galaxies and a comet in our own solar system. The spectra show more lines than have ever been seen in these objects in the far-infrared and will allow astronomers to work out the detailed chemistry and physics behind star and planet formation as well as the last stages of stellar evolution before VYCMa's eventual collapse into a supernova. More coverage is available at the Herschel Mission Blog, which I run."
Space

+ - Herschel Spectroscopy of future Supernova->

Submitted by davecl
davecl (233127) writes "ESA's Herschel Space Telescope has released its first spectroscopic results. These include observations of VYCMa, a star 50 times as massive as the sun and soon to become a supernova, as well a nearby galaxy, more distant colliding starburst galaxies and a comet in our own solar system. The spectra show more lines than have ever been seen in these objects in the far-infrared and will allow astronomers to work out the detailed chemistry and physics behind star and planet formation as well as the last stages of stellar evolution before VYCMa's eventual collapse into a supernova. More coverage at the Herschel Mission Blog which I run."
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Space

+ - Herschel Releases First Images of Milky Way->

Submitted by davecl
davecl (233127) writes "The Herschel space observatory has just released stunning five colour images of a section of our own galaxy showing the complex twisted structures of the interstellar medium that drive star and planet formation. The images are the first produced using two of Herschel's instruments, SPIRE and PACS, simultaneously and show the power of this approach. This image is just 2x2 degrees in size, but future Herschel programmes will image the entire galactic plane at this sensitivity and resolution. Full scale science operations with Herschel begin in just a few weeks. More information on the project can be found from ESA, from the mission blog (which I contribute to) and from the SPIRE instrument team. The BBC are also covering this story."
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Comment: Re:Plancks Scan Pattern Is Bad? (Score 3, Informative) 59

by davecl (#29454453) Attached to: Planck Satellite Releases First Images

The poles of the scan are actually the ecliptic poles, perpendicular to the plane of the planets within the solar system. This is set by the fact that Planck rotates with it's bottom pointing towards the line that joins the earth and the sun from it's position at the second Lagrange point. This ensures that earth and sunlight never impinge on it's sensitive detectors and helps to keep the whole instrument as cold as possible. The scan geometry is thus quite tightly restricted by these requirements and, as you say, the deepest fields will be at the ecliptic poles.

We actually don't want to study the centre of the galaxy with Planck as the galaxy is the major foreground contaminant to the CMB data. Fortunately the eclptic poles aren't aligned wiht the centre of the galaxy.

Comment: Re:I wish they'd post a bit of the sky from both.. (Score 3, Informative) 59

by davecl (#29453985) Attached to: Planck Satellite Releases First Images

There's a lot more to do beyond Planck on polarization, but you're right that primary intensity anisotropies in the CMB will essentially be done by Planck. There are lots of secondary anisotropies, such as the SZ-Effect, on smaller scales to be done at higher resolution, though, and instruments like the SPT are doing exactly that.

Space

+ - Planck Satellite Releases First Images->

Submitted by davecl
davecl (233127) writes "The Planck Satellite has released its first images. These are from the 'First Look Survey' and show a strip of the sky scanned at a range of radio and submillimetre wavelengths. The results are already better than what was seen by the previous microwave background satellite, WMAP. ESA's coverage of the results can be found here, with more details and images available in English and French. The Planck Mission Blog contains more details of the project and continuing coverage. I maintain the mission blog but even I am impressed with these first images!"
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Space

+ - HIFI Instrument on Herschel Space Telescope has pr

Submitted by davecl
davecl (233127) writes "One of the three instruments on the Herschel satellite, HIFI, has hit a glitch. Nature is reporting that damage to the power supply for the HIFI instrument's control electronics has forced it to shut down. A possible cause is a hit by a rare very high energy cosmic ray, but investigations are proceeding. The other two Herschel instruments, PACS and SPIRE, are unaffected and are operating normally. Once the problem with HIFI is better understood it can switch over to the backup electronics, but there's only one spare. HIFI is the high resolution spectrometer for Herschel, allowing detailed study, for example, of forming stellar and planetary systems. More news of the Herschel mission can also be found on the mission blog."

Comment: Re:Hershel vs. Hubble (Score 4, Informative) 21

by davecl (#28652643) Attached to: More First-Light Data From Herschel Space Telescope

Hubble works in the optical at wavelengths more than 100 times smaller than those Herschel is using, so it's not surprising you can see more detail. However, the Herschel images aren't showing stars at all, they're showing cool dust, just 50 or so degrees above absolute zero, material that Hubble just cannot see at all (and to be fair, Herschel can't see the stars that Hubble can see).

Trying to compare Hubble with Herschel is like comparing a fire with a bucket of liquid nitrogen.

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