• July 30, 2009

    Episode 231: New Orbiting Telescopes

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    Two amazing telescopes were launched together in May 2009 by the European Space Agency (ESA). One telescope, Herschel, measures the light from star formation regions and builds three-dimensional pictures of nebulae. It is the most powerful infrared telescope yet launched into space. It should be ready for regular science operations in November. The second telescope, Planck, measures the minute fluctuations in the cosmic microwave background through two radio detectors. Planck's instruments have reached their chilly operating temperature and the telescope has entered its final orbit.