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Goodbye to the Herschel Space Telescope ..

Posted: Mon May 13, 2013 9:55 am
by brian livesey
This 3.5 metre aperture infrared telescope, responsible for imaging such phenomena as galactic bubbles, stellar nurseries and water in Saturn's rings, has run out of helium, essential for keeping its sensitive instruments cool.
At launch in 2009, Herschel carried 2000 litres of liquid helium, but that has gradually boiled away into space.
Following a month of tests, the telescope will be placed in a non-operating heliocentric orbit. Some of Herschel's best images can be seen here: bit.ly/15WWB9U .