Credit: ESA/PACS & SPIRE Consortia, T. Hill, F. Motte, Laboratoire AIM Paris-Saclay, CEA/IRFU – CNRS/INSU – Uni. Paris Diderot, HOBYS Key Programme Consortium
The Herschel space telescope, which carries the SPIRE instrument built with expertise from Cardiff, has been switched off.
It was launched in 2009 and SPIRE, along with two other instruments and a massive mirror, made it the most powerful infrared observatory ever built.
Credits: ESA/Herschel/PACS, SPIRE/N. Schneider, Ph. André, V. Könyves (CEA Saclay, France) for the “Gould Belt survey” Key Programme
Cardiff University astronomers led the international team that designed, built and operated SPIRE. There are still years of data to be examined.
It is helping astronomers understand how the Universe came to be what it is today.
The 7m long telescope is being "parked" in a safe orbit.