Pythagorean Astronomy: Happy Birthday Herschel!

May 2014 marked the 5th anniversary of the launch of the Herschel Space Observatory. To mark the occasion, for this month’s astronomy instalment of Pythagoras’ Trousers I decided to interview a few people about their experience of Herschel. The interviews all took place in Paris, where many members of the mission and instrument teams were meeting.

You can listen to the extended version of the astronomy segment below, or listen to the full Pythagoras Trousers episode.

Originally broadcast on Monday 19th May 2014, on Radio Cardiff 98.7FM.

I spoke to quite a few people, so if you want to find out more about them here are a few links:

The piece ends with an “Unwinese” tribute to Herschel, written by Jon Brumfitt and read here by Dave Clements. In case you’re interested, the transcript is:

Once upolly-tito in the early mordy, ESA launchit of the Herschel space telescopers in Kourou. Roar roar and all lifty upmost into the skybold and injectyhow in the orbit around the Lagrangy twobold. At throo and halfy metrodes diamole, the mirror all collecty of the light from disty bodes in the fundimold and focussy down on the instrulopers. There collectit of the datode on boardy and send it trickly-how down to the groundstoper all bouncy round with the kangaroopers there.

Herschel was fittymost with throo instrulobes for observit the starloders all glittery in the skybold. For the far infraroders and sub-millimold, needit to cooly the instrulopers down and all freezy in the cryolode. After four yearbold circly roundimost in space, all fallolopped out the heliopers and endy the life. Deep folly! So fierey-up the engine there and placeit in orbit all twiddly round the Sun. Astromoders analysit of the datode and find much joy in the understandy of the deep workies of the fundimold all twinklet in the skybold. Deep joy. Oh yes!

Credit: Jon Brumfitt (with apologies to the late Professor Stanley Unwin)