ESA Herschel Space Telescope

Image of Cygnus-X Star-Forming Region
Credit: ESA/PACS/SPIRE/Martin Hennemann & Frédérique Motte, Laboratoire AIM Paris-Saclay, CEA/Irfu – CNRS/INSU – Univ. Paris Diderot, France

This new view of the Cygnus-X star-formation region by Europe's Herschel space observatory highlights chaotic networks of dust and gas that point to sites of massive star formation.

Annotated Image of Cygnus-X Star-Forming Region
Credit: ESA/PACS/SPIRE/Martin Hennemann & Frédérique Motte, Laboratoire AIM Paris-Saclay, CEA/Irfu – CNRS/INSU – Univ. Paris Diderot, France

An annotated picture of the region Cygnus-X, highlighting numerous dense sites of new star formation in the right-hand complex, and the swan-like structure in the left-hand portion of the scene. The image was taken by the European Space Agency's Herschel space telescope.

ESA Herschel Space Telescope Against the Rosette Molecular Cloud
Credit: ESA/C. Carreau

This artist's impression depicts the ESA Herschel space telescope against the Rosette molecular cloud.

Multi-wavelength View of Messier 16
Credit: Far-infrared: ESA/Herschel/PACS/SPIRE/Hill, Motte, HOBYS Key Programme Consortium; ESA/XMM-Newton/EPIC/XMM-Newton-SOC/Boulanger; optical: MPG/ESO; near-infrared:VLT/ISAAC/McCaughrean & Andersen/AIP/ESO

Messier 16 is a diffuse emission nebula that contains the young open cluster NGC6611. The iconic 'Pillars of Creation' image taken with the Hubble Space Telescope in 1995 is captured in near-infrared by the VLT, which penetrates straight through the obscuring gas and dust, rendering them almost invisible. The pillars are only a small portion of the extensive nebulous region imaged in far-infrared by ESA's Herschel Space Observatory, which shows cool dust and gas tendrils being carved away by the hot stars seen in the X-ray image from XMM-Newton. The wide-field optical image from the ESO MPG telescope puts the pillars into context against the full scale of the nebula, which is over 75 light-years across.

New Herschel and XMM-Newton Image of M16
Credit: far-infrared: ESA/Herschel/PACS/SPIRE/Hill, Motte, HOBYS Key Programme Consortium; X-ray: ESA/XMM-Newton/EPIC/XMM-Newton-SOC/Boulanger

Combining almost opposite ends of the electromagnetic spectrum, this composite of the Herschel in far-infrared and XMM-Newton's X-ray images shows how the hot young stars detected by the X-ray observations are sculpting and interacting with the surrounding ultra-cool gas and dust, which, at only a few degrees above absolute zero, is the critical material for star formation itself. Both wavelengths would be blocked by Earth's atmosphere, so are critical to our understanding of the lifecycle of stars.

Large Magellanic Cloud as Seen by Herschel and Spitzer
Credit: ESA/NASA/JPL-Caltech/STScI

This new image shows the Large Magellanic Cloud galaxy in infrared light as seen by the Herschel Space Observatory and NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope.

Dark Heart of a Nebula Finally Photographed
Credit: ESA and the SPIRE & PACS consortia, P. André (CEA Saclay) for the Gould’s Belt Key Programme Consortia

An inside view of the heart of the Eagle Nebula, captured by the Herschel space telescope on Oct. 24, 2009.

Birth of 'Impossible' Star Seen by Herschel Space Telescope
Credit: ESA/PACS/SPIRE/HOBYS Consortia

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
Credit: 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
Credit: ESA

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
Credit: 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
Credit: 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
Credit: 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
Credit: 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
Credit: 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.

Andromeda Galaxy
Credit: 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.

Filaments of Gas in the IC5146 Interstellar Cloud
Credit: ESA/Herschel/SPIRE/PACS/D. Arzoumanian (CEA Saclay) for the “Gould Belt survey” Key Programme Consortium

Dense filaments of gas in the IC5146 interstellar cloud, in an infrared photo from ESA’s Herschel space observatory.

Herschel Observatory - Molecular Gas Outflows
Credit: ESA/AOES Medialab

An artist's impression showing a galaxy with a molecular outflow. Herschel Space Observatory's detection of outflows powerful enough to strip galaxies of their molecular gas reservoir represents solid evidence in support of the merger-driven scenario for the formation of elliptical galaxies.

Europe Delays Launch of Two Space Telescopes
Credit: Arianespace.

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

Orion Nebula Seen by Herschel and Spitzer

This new view of the Orion Nebula shows embryonic stars within extensive gas and dust clouds. Combining far-infrared observations from the Herschel Space Observatory and mid-infrared observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, the image shows newly forming stars surrounded by remnant gas and dust in the form of discs and larger envelopes. Image released Feb. 29, 2012

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