The Herschel spacecraft that was launched by ESA earlier this week is super-cool. Literally. This advanced telescope for far-infrared and millimeter-wave observations has a supply of liquid helium on board to keep its sensors cooled below 2 K (less than 2 degrees above absolute zero).
Herschel was launched with a companion spacecraft called Planck, which is a microwave observatory designed to study tiny fluctuations in the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB), allowing scientists to infer the structure of the early universe as early as 380,000 years after the Big Bang (that’s only about 0.003% of the estimated age of the universe, 13.5 to 14 billion years).
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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