Archive for May 14, 2010

Herschel’s First Year in Space

Posted in The Universe and Stuff with tags , , on May 14, 2010 by telescoper

Just about to journey to the RAS for the Annual General Meeting  and the last club dinner before the summer break, I’m reminded by a tweet from Chris North that it’s exactly a year since we gathered nervously, fortified by booze, to watch the launch of the far-infrared observatory Herschel, together with its sister spacecraft Planck.  I haven’t got time to write much about this because I’ve got a train to catch, but you can in any case find a nice retrospective of the Herschel’s first year in space here. I couldn’t resist, however, putting up the nice video that’s been put together by the European Space Agency to mark the anniversary.

It’s all  been going swimmingly on the Herschel front since the launch, and the first science papers have been making their way onto the ArXiv this week. Thankfully it’s not been quite the deluge that I’d feared, more of a steady stream. I’ve even had a chance to read a few of them.

The next major milestone coming up will be announcement of opportunity for open time access (OT1) which will  be released on 20th May with a deadline of 22nd July. I’m sure the huge success that Herschel has been so far will mean a lot of people putting in proposals. There is talk of putting in a proposal for a big cosmology survey – a sort of son of ATLAS and HERMES –  which will be good timing for me and my little team at Cardiff because our theoretical models are almost ready to rumble…

Anyway, here’s to at least another three years of Herschel, although I’ll have to wait until this evening to raise a glass!

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