Herschel is an infrared space observatory due for launch on an Ariane 5 space rocket from French Guyana in 2009. This European Space Agency mission will allow astronomers to see far-infrared and sub-millimeter light from stars, galaxies, and other matter in space. The primary focus will be to determine how stars and galaxies are born.
SPIRE is one of three instruments that will help answer these questions. The instrument will allow for high resolution imaging spectroscopy and photometry in the far infrared and submillimeter range of the electromagnetic spectrum. The University of Lethbridge’s Astronomical Instrumentation Group, led by Dr. David Naylor has played a key role in Canada’s contribution to the SPIRE instrument.
For more information and to see how you can get involved visit: http://spire.uleth.ca/