It may not look much, but this fine filament of matter will soon blossom into something bright and spectacular, as its constituent gases begin to burn as a new set of stars.
The largest ever census of dust in the local Universe has been carried out by the European Space Agency's Herschel space observatory—and the results are huge and beautiful.
From its launch in 2009, the European Space Agency's Herschel Space Observatory was a busy little satellite. Over its lifetime it made over 37, 000 scientific observations—and this video shows them all, condensed into less than one minute.
Replace that mountain of awkward reusable shopping bags you've somehow amassed with Herschel's new packable backpack, which should make hauling home a week's worth of groceries a lot easier. Made from rip stop nylon, the packs can be squeezed into a compact internal pouch for easy storage or carrying as an emergency…
In four billion years, Andromeda will collide with the Milky Way. That will be an amazing view—but until then we have to look at it from a distance. This new photo by the European Space Agency's Herschel Space Observatory shows a beautiful view. From NASA:
It's confirmed: Space is bubbling with the potential for life. The Heterodyne Instrument for the Far Infrared—on board the Herschel Space Observatory—has sent a high resolution analysis of the Orion Nebula's chemistry. It has scientists very excited.