AAS 207th Meeting, 8-12 January 2006
Session 35 The Herschel Far-Infrared/Submillimeter Astronomy Mission
Special Session, Monday, 10:00-11:30am, January 9, 2006, Ballroom/Salon 2

Previous   |   Session 35   |   Next  |   Author Index   |   Block Schedule

[35.01] Herschel Space Observatory - Overview and Observing Opportunities

G. L. Pilbratt (European Space Agency)

The Herschel Space Observatory is the fourth cornerstone mission in the European Space Agency (ESA) science programme. It will perform imaging photometry and spectroscopy in the far infrared and submillimetre part of the spectrum, covering approximately the 55-650 micron range.

The key science objectives emphasize current questions connected to the formation and evolution of galaxies, stars, and our own planetary system. However, Herschel will offer unique observing capabilities available to the entire astronomical community.

Herschel will carry a 3.5 metre diameter passively cooled telescope. The science payload complement - two cameras/medium resolution spectrometers (PACS and SPIRE) and a very high resolution heterodyne spectrometer (HIFI) - will be housed in a superfluid helium cryostat. The ground segment will be jointly developed by the ESA, the three instrument teams, and NASA/IPAC.

Once operational in orbit around L2 sometime in 2008, Herschel will offer a minimum of 3 years of routine observations; roughly 2/3 of the available observing time is open to the general astronomical community through a standard competitive proposal procedure.

I will report on the current implementation status of the various elements that together make up the Herschel mission, introduce the mission from the perspective of the prospective user of this major facility, and describe the plans for announcing observing opportunities.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://www.rssd.esa.int/herschel. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

Previous   |   Session 35   |   Next

Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.