Herschel Space Observatory News

Dawn Probe Discovers Water Ice in Ceres’ Polar Region

January 2, 2017

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Dawn Spacecraft Discovers Water Ice in Ceres’ Polar Region

The Herschel Telescope and the Dawn Spacecraft have observed the release of water vapor from Ceres and the Dawn Spacecraft has discovered water ice in Ceres’ polar region. The American Dawn space probe has been orbiting the asteroid Ceres between Mars and Jupiter since March 2015. Thanks to the two identical onboard cameras from the […]

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Ultraviolet Light from Stars Plays Key Role in Creating Building Blocks of Life

October 12, 2016

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Ultraviolet Light from Stars Plays a Key Role in Creating Building Blocks of Life

New research shows that ultraviolet light from stars plays a key role in creating molecules that are necessary for building other chemicals essential for life. Life exists in a myriad of wondrous forms, but if you break any organism down to its most basic parts, it’s all the same stuff: carbon atoms connected to hydrogen, […]

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NASA Probes Peculiar Age-Defying Star IRAS 19312+1950

August 29, 2016

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NASA Probes Peculiar Age-Defying Star IRAS 19312+1950

New research suggests that IRAS 19312+1950 might be a protostar a star still in the making. For years, astronomers have puzzled over a massive star lodged deep in the Milky Way that shows conflicting signs of being extremely old and extremely young. Researchers initially classified the star as elderly, perhaps a red supergiant. But a […]

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ESA’s Herschel Space Observatory Views Cosmic Cloud Mon R2

August 24, 2015

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Herschel Space Observatory Views Feathery Filaments in Mon R2

This new image from ESA’s Herschel space observatory reveals fierce flashes of light rippling through delicate tendrils of gas in the heart of a large and dense cosmic cloud known as Mon R2. This cloud lies some 2700 light-years away and is studded with hot, newly-formed stars. Packed into the bright center of this region […]

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First Direct Evidence of the Formation Process of Brown Dwarfs

August 1, 2015

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Astronomers Reveal Brown Dwarfs and Stars Share Formation Process

Using the Very Large Array, an international team of astronomers has discovered jets of material ejected by still-forming young brown dwarfs, revealing the first direct evidence that brown dwarfs are produced by a scaled-down version of the same process that produces stars. The astronomers studied a sample of still-forming brown dwarfs in a star-forming region […]

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Astronomers Develop New Models to Search for Molecular Oxygen

July 27, 2015

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Astronomers Find Molecular Oxygen

Newly published research from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics provides the first self-consistent treatment of preshock, shock, and postshock regions under the influence of UV fields, and explains why O2 detections are so rare. Oxygen is the third most abundant element in the universe (after hydrogen and helium) and of course it is important: all […]

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New Herschel Images Reveal How Matter is Distributed Across Our Milky Way

May 29, 2015

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Image Reveals How Matter is Distributed Across Our Milky Way

This new image of filament G49 reveals how matter is distributed across our Milky Way galaxy. New images of huge filamentary structures of gas and dust from the Herschel space observatory reveal how matter is distributed across our Milky Way galaxy. Long and flimsy threads emerge from a twisted mix of material, taking on complex […]

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Herschel and Planck Identify Some of the Oldest and Rarest Galaxy Clusters

March 31, 2015

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Astronomers Identified Some of the Oldest and Rarest Galaxy Clusters

By using data from ESA’s Herschel and Planck space observatories, astronomers have discovered what could be the precursors of the vast clusters of galaxies that we see today. One telescope finds the treasure chest, and the other narrows in on the gold coins. Data from two European Space Telescope missions, Planck and Herschel, have together […]

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Young Star Systems May Reveal How Our Own Solar System Came To Be

November 11, 2014

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Astronomers Find an Early Version of The Milk Way

Astronomers from the University of Arizona have discovered two dust belts surrounded by a large dust halo around young star HD 95086, providing researchers with a look back at what our solar system may have resembled in its infancy. Researchers studying what appears to be a beefed-up version of our solar system have discovered that […]

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Astronomers Discover a Massive Galaxy in Its Core Formation Phase

August 28, 2014

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Astronomers View Massive Galaxy in Core Formation Phase

By combining observations from several telescopes, astronomers have viewed a massive galaxy in its core formation phase three billion years after the Big Bang. Astronomers have for the first time caught a glimpse of the earliest stages of massive galaxy construction. The building site, dubbed “Sparky,” is a dense galactic core blazing with the light […]

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Astronomers Discover Water-Building Molecule in Planetary Nebulas

June 18, 2014

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Astronomers Discover Water Building Molecule in Helix Nebula

Using the Hubble Space Telescope and ESA’s Herschel Space Observatory, astronomers have discovered a water-building molecule in three planetary nebulas. Using ESA’s Herschel Space Oobservatory, astronomers have discovered that a molecule vital for creating water exists in the burning embers of dying Sun-like stars. When low- to middleweight stars like our Sun approach the end […]

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Herschel Space Observatory Reveals Massive Cold Clumps in NGC 7538

June 13, 2014

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Herschel Reveals Cold Clumps in NGC 7538

Using data from the Herschel Space Observatory, astronomers have identified 13 massive, dense clumps where colossal stars could form. The Herschel Space Observatory has uncovered a weird ring of dusty material while obtaining one of the sharpest scans to date of a huge cloud of gas and dust, called NGC 7538. The observations have revealed […]

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New Herschel Image Reveals Trans-Neptunian Objects

June 10, 2014

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Herschel Reveals Population of Trans Neptunian Objects

This newly released image reveals a sample of the 132 trans-Neptunian objects observed by ESA’s Herschel Space Observatory. ESA’s Herschel space observatory has observed 132 of the known 1400 cold worlds that inhabit a region of the Solar System beyond the orbit of Neptune, some 4.5–7.5 billion km from the Sun. These ‘trans-Neptunian objects’, or […]

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Herschel Observations Help Identify the Physical Processes Underway in Cold, Dense Clouds

May 21, 2014

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Herschel Views Chemistry and Radiative Transfer of Water in cold Dense Cloud L1544

Using data from the Herschel Space Observatory, astronomers make a direct comparison between observations and chemical models for oxygen species in conditions just before star formation. Warm water vapor in the interstellar medium (about at room temperature) behaves roughly as expected from chemical models. This was the conclusion reached from observations by the Infrared Space […]

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New Herschel Data Reveal Insight into the Internal Dynamics of Two Young Galaxies

April 30, 2014

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Hubble Views Galaxy S0901

Researchers have discovered a young galaxy, called S0901, rotating in a calm manner typical of more developed galaxies like our own spiral Milky Way. New Herschel results have given us a remarkable insight into the internal dynamics of two young galaxies. Surprisingly, they have shown that just a few billion years after the Big Bang, […]

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Astronomers Complete the Largest Census of Dust in the Local Universe

March 18, 2014

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Astronomers Complete the Largest Census of Dust in the Local Universe

Using data from the Herschel satellite, astronomers completed the largest census of dust in the local Universe, the Herschel Reference Survey. An international team of astronomers has completed a benchmark study of more than 300 galaxies, producing the largest census of dust in the local Universe, the Herschel Reference Survey. Led by Dr Luca Cortese […]

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Astronomers Examine Star Formation in Luminous, Colliding Galaxies

March 7, 2014

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Researchers Examine How Luminosity and Star Formation Evolve During a Galaxy Collision

By combining computer simulations with multi-band observations, two new studies examine how luminosity, star formation, dust heating, and other effects evolve during a galaxy collision. Nearly thirty years ago the Infrared Astronomy Satellite discovered that the universe contained many tremendously luminous galaxies, some more than a thousand times brighter than our own Milky Way, but […]

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Herschel Views Star Factory NGC 7538

March 4, 2014

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Herschel Views NGC 7538

This new composite image shows NGC 7538, a stellar nursery for massive stars located roughly 9,000 light-years away. The billowing clouds portrayed in this image from ESA’s Herschel observatory are part of NGC 7538, a stellar nursery for massive stars. Located around 9,000 light-years away, this is one of the few regions of massive-star formation […]

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