It’s been a while since I posted anything from the Herschel Space Observatory, but here’s a stunning image I just saw on the BBC website which will more than rectify that omission. This is the Eagle Nebula, a much-studied object in terms of the optical light it emits, but this is a remarkable picture taken in the far-infrared part of the spectrum.
For more details, see here.
There’s much more to astronomy than looking at pretty pictures, but the opportunity to stare at things like this is definitely one of the perks of the job. It makes me think of Tennyson’s Poem, The Eagle…
He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ring’d with the azure world, he stands.
The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls.