AAS 204th Meeting, June 2004
Session 93 The Herschel Far-Infrared Submillimeter Astronomy Mission
Special Session, Thursday, June 3, 2004, 2:00-3:30pm, 707/709

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[93.01] The Herschel Mission: Overview and Observing Opportunities

G.L. Pilbratt (Herschel Project Scientist, European Space Agency)

The Herschel Space Observatory (formerly known as FIRST) 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 of galaxies and stars, however, having unique observing capabilities, Herschel will be a facility 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.

Herschel will be launched in 2007. Once operational 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 intend to report on the current implementation status of the various elements that together make up the Herschel mission, and to introduce the mission from the perspective of the prospective user of this major facility.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://astro.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.

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