ESA Science & Technology - Herschel
The European Space Agency's Herschel Space Observatory (formerly called Far Infrared and Sub-millimetre Telescope or FIRST) flew the largest single mirror ever built for a space telescope. At 3.5-metres in diameter the mirror collected long-wavelength radiation from some of the coldest and most distant objects in the Universe. In addition, Herschel was the only space observatory to cover a spectral range from the far infrared to sub-millimetre.
9 May 2019Launched in May 2009 and making observations until April 2013, the successful Herschel space observatory has produced a treasure trove of data. This brochure summarises the Herschel mission and its science achievements to date, capturing the basis for the science yet to come and its enduring legacy.
16 May 2018A rare phenomenon connected to the death of a star has been discovered in observations made by ESA's Herschel space observatory: an unusual laser emission from the spectacular Ant Nebula, which suggests the presence of a double star system hidden at its heart.
7 December 2017Astronomers have used ESA's Herschel Space Observatory to solve a decades-old mystery about the origin of powerful cool gas winds in the hot environs of quasars. The evidence linking these powerful winds to star formation in the quasar host galaxies may also help resolve the mystery of why the size of galaxies in the Universe appears to be capped.
13 November 2017What seemed at first like a rare instance of a huge, ancient galaxy revealed itself to be an even rarer pair of extremely massive galaxies, seen on the brink of merging when the Universe was only a billion years old.
21 September 2017The Herschel mission, a trailblazing space observatory that provided a unique view of our cosmos during its almost four years of operations, leaves a legacy of treasured data, thousands of scientific papers, as well as a new generation of astronomers who cut their professional teeth on this remarkable endeavour.