Herschel Space Observatory, artwork

Herschel Space Observatory, artwork

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Credit: DAVID DUCROS, ESA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Herschel Space Observatory, with Earth in the background, artwork. Herschel is one of the largest space telescopes ever launched. It was placed in orbit on 14 May 2009, and then travelled to a point in space 1.5 million kilometres from Earth, called the second Lagrangian point (L2). Its 3.5-metre diameter mirror collects long-wavelength infrared radiation from some of the coolest and most distant objects in the Universe. This enables studies of star formation and the evolution of the galaxies. Herschel is reliant on its helium superfluid coolant, and it is thought that this will boil off by early 2013, bringing observations to an end.

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Keywords: 2009, 21st century, artwork, astronomical, astronomy, astrophysical, astrophysics, cosmological, cosmology, earth, earth orbit, esa, european space agency, herschel space observatory, illustration, infrared telescope, l2 point, lab, physical, physics, planet, research, second lagrangian point, space, space observatory, spacecraft, spaceflight, technological, technology

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