Public lecture: mission into distant space

A free public lecture at the University will take its audience on a journey through space to understand the most distant stars and galaxies, exploring the findings of The Herschel Space Observatory, on Thursday 26 November at 7pm.

In May 2009 the European Space Agency launched The Herschel Space Observatory, the largest space-based telescope, with a mission to reveal new information about the earliest, most distant stars and galaxies, as well our own solar system.

This artists impression of Herschel is set against an image captured by the observatory, showing baby stars forming in the Rosette nebula, 5,000 light-years from Earth. Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech

Originally called "FIRST," for "Far InfraRed and Submillimetre Telescope," the spacecraft was renamed for Britain's Sir William Herschel, who discovered in 1800 that the spectrum extends beyond visible light into the region that we today call "infrared."

The presenter, Dr Chris North, is an astrophysicist from Cardiff University. He has worked on a number of space missions and is currently part of the Herschel Observatory team, looking at far-infrared light from stars forming in our galaxy and across the Universe.

Dr North said: “With over 20,000 hours of observations, Herschel has revealed new information about the Universe on all scales, from the formation of stars and galaxies across the cosmos, down to planets, asteroids and even tiny comets. I’ll review the mission and give an overview of some of the most significant results to date-though there is undoubtedly much, much more to come!”

The free William Herschel Public Lecture will take place at the Claverton Down Campus on Thursday 26 November in 8W1.1 from 7pm.

For more information and to book a place please visit: You can also find out about more public lectures taking place at the University.

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