Herschel Space Observatory, artwork

Herschel Space Observatory, artwork

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Caption: Herschel Space Observatory, artwork. Launched in May 2009, this space telescope carries the largest mirror (upper centre) ever sent into space to date. From a point relative to the Sun and Earth called the second Lagrangian point (L2), the 3.5-metre diameter mirror is collecting long-wavelength infrared radiation from some of the coolest and most distant objects in the Universe. The telescope is protected by a sunshield (upper right), and some of the instruments are cooled with superfluid helium to a few degrees Kelvin, near absolute zero. The three instruments are the PACS, SPIRE and HIFI spectrometers.

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