Closing Views Of An Icon | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

Airborne Unlimited -- Recent Daily Episodes

Episode Date

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Airborne On ANN

Airborne 02.08.16

Airborne 02.02.16

Airborne 02.03.16

Airborne 02.04.16

Airborne 02.05.16

Airborne Hi-Def On YouTube

Airborne 02.08.16

Airborne 02.02.16

Airborne 02.03.16

Airborne 02.04.16

Airborne 02.05.16

Fri, Jul 05, 2013

Closing Views Of An Icon

Herschel Space Observatory Concludes Its Primary Science Mission

This tiny dot against the streaking star field is one of the last views that ground-based observers will see of ESA’s iconic Herschel space observatory.

Herschel spent over three years taking stunning images of the Universe in far infrared wavelengths, but in April the spacecraft depleted the last of its helium coolant, concluding science operations. After this, the spacecraft operations team performed a series of engineering tests. A series of thruster burns moved it from its orbit around the L2 point 1.5 million kilometers from the Earth, and into a heliocentric orbit. Finally, in June, the spacecraft was switched off.

As well as being tracked by ESA ground stations throughout its mission, amateur astronomers have also enjoyed spotting the spacecraft. Last week, as Herschel began moving away from Earth, astronomers Nick Howes and Ernesto Guido from the Remanzacco Observatory used the 2-meter diameter Faulkes Telescope North in Hawaii to image the spacecraft. The observation was a particular challenge as the final maneuvers made by the ESA flight control team resulted in the observatory being at a slightly different position on the sky compared to that predicted by existing orbital data.

But the imaging campaign was successful, as seen in the image presented here, with Herschel indicated by the two lines to the right of center. Stars appear as streaks because the astronomers were tracking the motion of Herschel through the sky.

Herschel’s new orbit will send it around the Sun, coming back into Earth’s neighborhood around 13 years from now. Determining an accurate orbit now is important, because its increasing distance will make it fainter and much harder to keep track of in the intervening years.

(Image provided by ESA.)

FMI: www.esa.int

Advertisement

More News

Airborne 02.05.16: Collier Trophy Noms, NJ Homeowner Nonsense, Flight Design USA

Also: A-10 Survives, The Essential Aero-Community, Miami Seaplanes, ERAU WACO, Jeppesen Leadership, ADS-B Kickstarter, Guilty Non-Pilot The National Aeronautic Association announce>[...]

Aero-News: Quote Of The Day (02.08.16)

“Rig’N Fly procedures are of the utmost importance to ensure reliable operations and the safest flight conditions possible, and this is an area where Airbus Helicopters>[...]

Aero-TV: Aviator Sean O’Donnell – A Love For Flight Has No Limits

What's Holding YOU Back From Your Dream Of Flight? While at the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo 2016, ANN CEO and Editor-In-Chief, Jim Campbell, shares a conversation with us that he had >[...]

Klyde Morris (02.08.16)

Klyde's Got The Super Bowl Blues... FMI: www.klydemorris.com>[...]

Navy's UAV Could Be A Tanker

Carrier-Based Unmanned Gas Station Might Be Result Of X-47B Program While there was much speculation about the ultimate role for the Navy's unmanned X-47B aircraft that demonstrate>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2016 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC