Cardiff experts key role in space telescope mission
Experts at Cardiff University, UK, are designing and building highly sophisticated equipment, which will travel deep into space to enable scientists to look back in time to observe the formation of galaxies and stars. A team in the School of Physics and Astronomy is heading an international consortium, led by Cardiffs Professor Matt Griffin, to produce SPIRE. This is a three-colour camera and spectrometer, which will be launched aboard the European Space Agencys Herschel Space Observatory in 2007.
It will detect radiation at very long wavelengths, revealing distant galaxies - up to 10 billion light years away - which are invisible to other telescopes. This is equivalent to looking up to 10 billion years into the past, and hence SPIRE will be able to view distant galaxies in their early stages of formation. SPIRE will also be able to look at closer clouds of dust and gas in our own galaxy, and view the formation of stars in "stellar nurseries".
Dr Peter Hargrave | EurekAlert!
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