12:16 AM November 15th, 2009
Time Magazine has released its list of the 50 Best Inventions of 2009. It’s worth checking out – tons of interesting stuff.
Topping the list is NASA’s Ares Rocket. Yay! And the Herschel Space Observatory is also on it, which happens to be the subject of our latest video for Time.com.
Herschel is a European Space Agency mission but, like so many space ventures today, it’s an international collaboration. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory developed two of the three instruments with which it will study the far-infrared and submillimeter wavelengths – analyzing some of the coldest objects in space, hoping to shed light on star formation. And, cooled by liquid helium to just a fraction above absolute zero, Herschel’s instruments are themselves some of the coldest objects in space – at least for the next three years, til the helium runs out.
We visited JPL and CalTech to speak to Paul Goldsmith, the NASA Herschel Mission scientist.
For more information about Herschel: