Some Results from the Herschel Space Observatory
The Herschel Space Observatory, a 3.5m far-infrared telescope, was
launched 14 May 2009, and is now located at the Earth-Sun L2 point,
carrying out imaging and spectroscopy at wavelengths from 70 μm to
500 μm with LHe-cooled detectors. For reference, the longest
wavelength for imaging by the Spitzer Space Telescope was 160 μm,
and the longest wavelength for spectroscopy was 38 μm. The cryogen
lifetime is estimated to be three years.
I will review a few selected early results from Herschel, but will
focus on some of the studies being carried out by the KINGFISH "key
project" on the dust and gas in nearby well-resolved galaxies, with
comparisons between observations and models for the dust.