Photos: Herschel Space Observatory's Amazing Infrared Images

Birth of 'Impossible' Star Seen by Herschel Space Telescope


This galactic bubble is known as RCW 120. It lies about 4300 light-years away and has been formed by a star at its center. The star is not visible at these infrared wavelengths but pushes on the surrounding dust and gas with nothing more than the power of its starlight.

Herschel Telescope Snaps Its First Pictures

ESA and the PACS Consortium

Three-colour far-infrared image of M51, the 'whirlpool galaxy.' Glowing light from clouds of dust and gas around and between the stars is visible clearly. These clouds are a reservoir of raw material for ongoing star formation in this galaxy.

New European Telescopes to Peer into Obscure Cosmic Corners


Herschel and Planck will be launched aboard an Ariane 5 ECA launcher from French Guiana. While Herschel trains its eye on the invisible infrared universe, Planck will focus on the remnant light of the Big Bang.

New Photos of Milky Way From New Space Telescope

ESA and the SPIRE & PACS consortia

This composite image of star-forming gas clouds in the Milky Way was taken by the recently launched Herschel telescope, and released Oct. 2, 2009.

Frigid Cloud in Deep Space Gets Its Temperature Taken

ESA/EPOS Consortium

Left: optical image of the CB244 globule region showing background stars and the cold, dense globule material in the centre. Right: dust temperature and column density of the CB244 cold, dense material based on the Herschel emission maps. Object 1 is a young stellar object and object 2 is a prestellar core that is likely to form a star.

Hidden Galaxies Found Behind Cosmic Fog Veil

ESA/PEP Consortium

ESA's Herschel space telescope has discovered that previously unseen distant galaxies are responsible for a cosmic fog of infrared radiation. The galaxies are some of the faintest and furthest objects seen by Herschel, and open a new window on the birth of stars in the early universe. To date, it is the most sensitive image of the universe taken with Herschel.

Powerful Herschel Telescope to See Cold, Early Universe

ESA – D. Ducros, 2009

Artist impression of the Herschel spacecraft, which will an unprecedented view of the cold universe, bridging the gap between what can be observed in the infrared from the ground and earlier space missions of this kind.

Thousands of Galaxies Found Packed in Busy Cosmic Clusters

ESA & SPIRE Consortium & HerMES consortia

Thousands of galaxies crowd into this Herschel image of the distant universe. Each dot is an entire galaxy containing billions of stars. This image image was taken in a region of space called the Lockman hole, which allows a clear line of sight out into the distant Universe. This "hole" is located in the familiar northern constellation of Ursa Major, The Great Bear. Full story.

Andromeda Galaxy

ESA/Herschel/PACS/SPIRE/J.Fritz, U.Gent/XMM-Newton/EPIC/W. Pietsch, MPE

This image of the Andromeda Galaxy is a composite of an infrared photo from ESA's Herschel space telescope and the XMM-Newton’s X-ray telescope. The infrared frame shows rings of dust that trace gaseous reservoirs where new stars are forming and the X-ray image shows stars approaching the ends of their lives.

Europe Delays Launch of Two Space Telescopes


The Ariane 5 rocket to launch Europe's Herschel and Planck telescopes is seen awaiting its payload.

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