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HerMES Results

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The results from the HerMES project will appear on these pages as they gradually become available. A quick summary of each individual result is given below and clicking on the link or the image takes you to the full story!


Active Black Hole Squashes Star Formation:


The Herschel Space Observatory has shown that galaxies with the most powerful, active, supermassive black holes at their cores produce fewer stars than galaxies with less active black holes. The work is published in the science journal Nature.


Major Public Data Release for HerMES:

The HerMES team are very pleased to announce our first major data release, DR1.

This release includes Herschel SPIRE sky maps and object catalogues. The maps were made using 250, 350 and 500micrometre filters on the SPIRE instrument. These sub-milimeter wavelengths had not been significantly exploited before the Herschel Mission.

The data is explained in detail in the scientific paper

Oliver, S et al., MNRAS 2012 in press, arXiv:1203.2562

All data is available through the Herschel database HeDaM




Second Public Data Release

As of 19th September 2011, HerMES are pleased to announce their second early data release. This is catalogue data similar in depth to our early data release but covering additional fields.

The data is available through the Herschel database HeDaM


A key reference is Smith, A et al., MNRAS 2011 in press, arXiv:1109.5186


Herschel weighs the KEY ingredient for making galaxies

Astronomers have used Europe’s Herschel Space Observatory to reveal just how much dark matter it takes to give rise to a galaxy bursting with stars. The findings are a key step in understanding how dark matter – an invisible substance that pervades our Universe – contributed to the birth of massive galaxies in the early Universe.




Herschel looks back in time to see stars bursting into life

A U.K. led team of astronomers from the HerMES project have presented the first conclusive evidence for a dramatic surge in star birth in a newly discovered population of massive galaxies in the early Universe. Their measurements confirm the idea that stars formed most rapidly about 10 billion years ago, or about three to four billion years after the Big Bang, and that the rate of star formation is much faster than was thought.




Bringing home the GOODS

Among the best-studied astronomical deep fields on the sky is the so-called GOODS-North field which also contains the famous Hubble Deep Field. The new Herschel-SPIRE images reveal tens of thousands of newly-discovered galaxies at the early stages of formation. The GOODS-North observation was one of the first HerMES results officially unveiled at the first international Herschel Science meeting in Madrid in December 2009.




SPIRE Galaxies like to stick together

For over a decade Astronomers have been puzzled by some strange galaxies in the distant Universe that appear to be forming stars at phenomenal rates. These galaxies are very hard to explain with conventional theories of galaxy formation. One important question that remained unanswered was what environments did these galaxies live in? Now Herschel with its sensitive wide mapping has been able to see thousands of these galaxies and has shown for the first time that these galaxies are in the most dense parts of the Universe.




Hidden Black Holes in HerMES

Active Galactic Nuclei are violent galaxies powered by gigantic black holes at their centres. These objects have been observed in the HerMES survey fields and have been found to be elusive at the long sub-millimetre wavelengths probed by the SPIRE instrument on Herschel, preferring to hide within the general population of star-forming galaxies.




Looking through the cosmic lens

One of the first areas on the sky observed by Herschel was the dense galaxy cluster Abell2218. Abell2218 is so massive that it acts as a gigantic lens distorting the distant light and magnifying galaxies lying at great distances behind it allowing astronomers access to the very distant Universe.