17 January 2012

Eagle Nebula ~ Herschel Space Telescopy of M16

BBC's Jonathan Amos spots Eagle Nebula via Herschel 'scope! New 'scope Herschel differs from Hubble...
"Hubble is sensitive to optical light, the kind of light we detect with our eyes. This is easily blocked or scattered by the dust, and shows us merely the shape of the billowing clouds of material. Herschel, on the other hand, is sensitive to much longer wavelength radiation, in far-infrared. This enables it to detect the emission coming directly from the cold gas and dust that cloaks so much of the region. [Below are the] Iconic Pillars: Hubble (right) sees the light that is scattered off the columns; Herschel (left) detects the pillars glowing in their own light."

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