Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Reaching the parts .…. with Herschel and SPIRE

04.04.2007
A UK-led instrument which will study a previously unexplored part of the Universe leaves the UK this week to be installed on the European Space Agency’s Herschel spacecraft in Germany.

Herschel, a multi purpose space observatory, is scheduled to launch in 2008, in a dual configuration with ESA’s cosmic microwave background mission, Planck. The spacecraft will view the Universe in the far and sub-millimetre wavelength bands and will study the process of how stars form and evolve. As well as looking at our own galaxy and its evolution, Herschel will look at how galaxies formed in the early Universe on a grand scale.

Professor Keith Mason, CEO of the Science and Technology Facilities Council, said, ”What is particularly exciting about Herschel is that it will be able to study, in an unrestricted way, a large area of the Universe (between 200 and 400 microns) that cannot be viewed from Earth. The instruments onboard really will be probing the hidden areas of our Universe.”

With a sophisticated payload the spacecraft will also be able to study the atmospheres around planets, comets and satellites. There are three instruments onboard Herschel:- SPIRE (Spectral and Photometric Imaging Receiver), HIFI (the Heterodyne Instrument for the Far Infrared) and PACS (Photodetector Array Camera and Spectrometer).

The SPIRE instrument has been built, assembled and tested at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire by an international consortium from Europe, US, Canada and China. Professor Matt Griffin from Cardiff University who is Principal Investigator for SPIRE said, “SPIRE is designed to exploit Herschel’s unique capabilities in addressing two of the most prominent questions in astrophysics:- how and when did galaxies form and how do stars form?”

He adds, “Herschel will have the largest astronomical telescope yet flown in space, and it will cover a part of the spectrum that is vital to our knowledge of the universe, but poorly studied so far. Previous missions with much smaller telescopes have started to look at this area, and now Herschel will do so with far better sensitivity and image quality.

SPIRE is being transported to Astrium’s test facility in Friedrichschafen in Germany where it will be tested alongside the other instruments before being assembled onto the spacecraft next year.

Eric Sawyer, SPIRE Project Manager from Rutherford Appleton Laboratory said, “SPIRE is made up of three elements – the focal plane unit which will be inside the Herschel cryostat, responsible for keeping all the spacecraft’s instrumentation cool, and two boxes of warm electronics which will be used to control the instrument and collect data. This is a huge milestone for the SPIRE team, many of whom have been working on the project since its initial conception more than a decade ago.”

There will be an opportunity to find out more about the mission and see the Herschel spacecraft being assembled at Astrium in Friedrichshafen, Germany. Further details will be available in due course.

Julia Maddock | alfa
Further information:
http://www.stfc.ac.uk

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht SF State astronomer searches for signs of life on Wolf 1061 exoplanet
20.01.2017 | San Francisco State University

nachricht Molecule flash mob
19.01.2017 | Technische Universität Wien

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: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>