Herschel Mission Finds Galactic Growth Slow and Steady

The Herschel Infrared Space Observatory discovered that galaxies do not always need to collide with each other to drive vigorous star birth. The finding overturns a long-held assumption and paints a more stately picture of how galaxies evolve. The new results are based on Herschel’s observations of two patches of sky, each about one-third the size of the full moon.

These observations are unique because Herschel can obtain data at a wide range of infrared light and reveal a more complete picture of star birth than ever seen before.

Herschel is a European Space Agency cornerstone mission, with science instruments provided by consortia of European institutes and with important participation by NASA JPL, which contributed mission-enabling technology for two of Herschel’s three science instruments.

Image Credit: ESA–AOES Medialab

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