Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Data from outer space open new frontiers for researchers

02.12.2009
The latest data delivered back to Earth by the Herschel Space Observatory (HSO)—launched in May by the European Space Agency—has opened a new window on galaxies for researchers at McMaster University.

Herschel, the largest infrared telescope ever launched, is designed to study some of the coldest objects in space, located deep in a region of the electromagnetic spectrum that is still largely unexplored.

Its massive one-piece mirror, which is almost one-and-a-half times larger than Hubble's, is delivering sharper images of the stars with coverage of a wider wavelength spectrum. This new data is providing astronomers with a better understanding of the composition, temperature, density and mass of interstellar gas and dust—the fuel for star formation—in nearby galaxies and star-forming clouds.

"Herschel is creating excitement not only in the scientific community, but the general public as well," says Chris Wilson, a professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy at McMaster University. "We are really entering a golden age for astronomy. "

Wilson is the principal researcher on one of the Herschel projects, Physical Processes in the Interstellar Medium of Very Nearby Galaxies, which involves a team of scientists from seven countries. They are examining the closest examples of every type of galaxy they can find to study the properties of the gas in the galaxies and determine how the properties of the gas relate to star formation.

"The far-infrared wavelengths probed by Herschel are absolutely crucial for understanding the physical processes and properties of the interstellar medium. This remains poorly understood, but we are getting a clearer picture of the wider environment in galaxies," says Wilson.

Scientists from institutes and universities around the world will be able to use Herschel for approximately four years, at which time it is expected to run out of liquid helium to keep its sensitive instruments cold. NASA and the Canadian Space Agency participated in the construction of Herschel.

McMaster University, one of four Canadian universities listed among the Top 100 universities in the world, is renowned for its innovation in both learning and discovery. It has a student population of 23,000, and more than 140,000 alumni in 128 countries.

For more information please contact:

Chris Wilson
Professor, Department of Physics & Astronomy
McMaster University
905-525-9140, ext. 27483
wilson@physics.mcmaster.ca
Michelle Donovan
Public Relations Manager: Broadcast Media
McMaster University
905-525-9140 ext 22869
donovam@mcmaster.ca
Jane Christmas
Public Relations Manager
McMaster University
905-525-9140, ext. 27988
chrisja@mcmaster.ca

Michelle Donovan | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mcmaster.ca

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation
19.01.2018 | Carnegie Institution for Science

nachricht Artificial agent designs quantum experiments
19.01.2018 | Universität Innsbruck

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Let the good tubes roll

19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine

Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation

19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>