European Space Agency’s (ESA’s) Herschel space observatory was launched in 2009 and since then it has contributed a lot to astronomy and provided over 37,000 scientific observations. It has watched over a tenth of the entire sky in over 23,500 hours during its working life.
Recently, the space agency has launched an animation showing these observations in less than a minute, i.e. from the observatory’s launch, on May 14th 2009, until it was retired on April 29th 2013.
You can see the video below.
This video has been created by Pedro Gómez-Alvarez in the Herschel Science Centre Community Support Group.
Running through the centre of the graphic is the ‘ecliptic plane’ tracing the paths of the planets with respect to Herschel’s viewpoint from its orbit around L2, which is located 1.5 million kilometres behind the Earth as viewed from the Sun.
A horseshoe shape marks the Galactic Plane, the direction in which much of the Milky Way’s mass lies, and where many of Herschel’s observations were focused.
Herschel’s 37,000 Science Observations – ESA-Space in Videos (http://spaceinvideos.esa.int/Videos/2013/11/Herschel_s_37_000_science_observations)
Copyright ESA & P. Gómez-Alvarez / music: B. Lynne.