5 years of Herschel

May 2014 marked the 5th anniversary of the launch of the Herschel Space Observatory. To mark the occasion, this month’s astronomy instalment of Pythagoras’ Trousers included interviews with a few people of the Herschel team about their experiences. The interviews all took place in Paris, where many members of the mission and instrument teams were […]

Royal Astronomical Society recognition for SPIRE instrument

The Royal Astronomy Society (RAS) has awarded its 2014 Group Achievement Award to the team behind the Herschel Space Observatory’s SPIRE instrument. The award represents recognition by the astronomical community of the outstanding success of the SPIRE instrument, which observed the Universe at far infrared wavelengths, a few hundred times longer than the wavelengths of […]

SPIRE instrument wins Sir Arthur Clarke award

The team behind Herschel’s SPIRE instrument has been awarded the 2013 Sir Arthur Clarke Award for academic study and research. SPIRE is one of three instruments on Herschel, which was launched on 14 May 2009 and operated until the end of its scientific mission on 29 April 2013. The award is in recognition of the scientific achievements of the SPIRE instrument, […]

Herschel Spacecraft is turned off

At 12:25 GMT the Herschel spacecraft was turned off for the last time, ending the operational phase of the mission. The scientific observations had ended on 29th April when the on-board supply of liquid helium was exhausted. But while the spacecraft is no longer operating, there is much work left to do on the data […]

Herschel loses its cool

The Herschel Space Observatory has exhausted its supply of liquid helium coolant, after three and a half years of scientific observations. Using Herschel data, astronomers have already made ground-breaking discoveries about the formation and evolution of stars, galaxies and planets. But this has only scratched the surface, and there is far more still to come […]

Herschel will lose its cool

In the next few weeks Herschel is expected to finish its supply of helium coolant, which keeps its pioneering instruments cold enough to produce groundbreaking science. After nearly 4 years in operation, the operational life of this remarkable satellite is nearly over. Launched in May 2009, Herschel has a 3.5m diameter mirror. This – the […]

Matt Griffin awarded RAS medal

The Royal Astronomical Society has awarded Professor Matt Griffin, of Cardiff University and lead scientist of the SPIRE instrument on board Herschel, the Jackson-Gwilt Medal for his work on instrumentation for astronomy in the submillimetre waveband, the region of the electromagnetic spectrum between the far-infrared and microwave wavebands. Matt Griffin is one of a select group of scientists that helped […]