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Paper: The Promise of Herschel
Volume: 417, Submillimeter Astrophysics and Technology: A Symposium Honoring Thomas G. Phillips
Page: 427
Authors: Pilbratt, G. L.
Abstract: Herschel was successfully launched on 14 May 2009 and is the next astronomy observatory in the European Space Agency (ESA) science programme. Herschel carries a 3.5 metre diameter passively cooled Cassegrain telescope which is the largest of its kind and utilises novel silicon carbide technology. The science payload comprises three instruments: two direct detection cameras/medium resolution imaging spectrometers, PACS and SPIRE, and a very high resolution heterodyne spectrometer, HIFI. The science instrument focal plane units are housed inside a superfluid helium cryostat based on well proven ISO technology. Herschel will provide unprecedented observational opportunities in the 55 – 672 μm spectral range, much of which has never before been accessible from a space platform. It is an observatory facility available to the worldwide astronomical community, nominally approximately 20,000 hours will be available for astronomy, 32% is guaranteed time and the remainder is open to the general astronomical community through a standard competitive proposal procedure. The initial Key Programme Announcement of Opportunity (AO) was issued in February 2007. Both the guaranteed and open time Key Programmes have been selected and are introduced, and future observing opportunities are outlined.
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