Herschel telescope and sun-shield

Herschel telescope and sun-shield

Released

13/05/2009 3:46 pm

Copyright

ESA

Description

The Herschel telescope is a classic Cassegrain design with a 3.5-m primary mirror — the largest ever launched into space —
and a smaller secondary mirror. This powerful telescope will allow astronomers to look deep into space by detecting light
emitted in the far-infrared and sub-millimetre regions of the spectrum. Earth's atmosphere prevents most of this light from
reaching ground-based telescopes. From orbit around the second Lagrange point of the Sun-Earth system, L2, 1.5 million
kilometres from Earth, Herschel will provide unprecedented views of the Universe by bridging the gap between previous
infrared observatories and ground-based radio telescopes. This picture of the satellite was taken during testing at ESA’s
European Space Research and Technology Centre, ESTEC, the Netherlands.

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