Herschel Telescope captures a cluster of stars

Herschel Space Telescope Stops Working

Image Credit: Flickr User Reiki Lifestyle – Colleen Benelli, via CC

Europe’s Herschel Space Laboratory has run out of liquid helium essentially needed to run Herschel Space Telescope, the largest infrared telescope ever launched into space. The helium was needed to maintain an ultra-low temperature for proper functioning of the telescope.

This has come as no surprise to the scientists as the helium reserves for the telescope launched in 2009 had to run out some day. They had estimated that it will run out by end of March 2013.

Herschel Space Telescope will be missed for the unmatchable work it has done in space. It observed coldest and dustiest parts in space which are usually the locations where new stars form. It also observed dusty galaxies gathering up with new stars. The telescope has transmitted so much data in its three years of exploration that scientists will take many more years to go through it.

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