Exploring the formation of galaxies and stars
Découvrir la formation des galaxies et des étoiles
Welcome to the Herschel Astronomers' website provided by the Herschel Science Centre (HSC) for the scientific community. For additional ESA and external Herschel related websites see Useful links.
Herschel, short for the `Herschel Space Observatory', is the
fourth `cornerstone' mission in the ESA science programme. It will
perform photometry and spectroscopy in approximately the 55-672
µm range and is designed to observe the `cool universe'; it has the
potential of discovering the earliest epoch proto-galaxies, revealing
cosmologically evolving AGN/starburst symbiosis, and unravelling the
mechanisms governing the formation of stars and planetary systems,
such as our own.
Herschel will be flown to the launch site later this year, and will
be ready for launch in early 2009. The exact launch date is being
negotiated with the launch services provider Arianespace.
It will be operated as an observatory facility. Commencing about
six months after launch it will offer three years of routine science
observations. It will be available for the worldwide scientific
community, with roughly two thirds of the observing time being
`open time', which will be allocated through a standard competitive
Key Programme time allocation process completed!
The Key Programme (KP) time allocation process has been completed for both guaranteed time (GT) and open time (OT) observations. In addition to the 21 KP GT programmes by coincidence also precisely 21 KP OT programmes have been awarded observing time. The contents of these programmes are described under Key Programmes.
The next Announcement of Opportunity (AO) for Herschel OT observations is planned for approximately 6 months after launch when inflight performance is in hand, see Community Information.
For the planning of Herschel of observations use the various links provided
under the heading 'Herschel Observing' on the left, here the most up-to-date
manuals and tools are available. The material presented in the Herschel observation planning workshop held at ESAC on 20-21 September 2007 and the Herschel Open Time Key Program Workshop held in ESTEC, Noordwijk on 20-21 February 2007, can also be helpful but it must be remembered that this material represents that status at the time.