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The European Space Agency's Herschel and Planck space telescopes are set to blast off on 14 May atop an Ariane 5 ECA launcher from French Guiana, the agency reports. The 'scopes are destined for "L2", the second Lagrangian point of the Sun-Earth system lying around 1.5m km from Earth. ESA explains that this is one of five …

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Mission Blogs

You can follow more about these missions on their blogs:

http://planckmission.wordpress.com/

http://herschelmission.wordpress.com/

which I help maintain.

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Happy

Superb!

A great bit of science there, well done ESA.

Fingers crossed for the launch, eh?

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Paris Hilton

Acronyms

What? Who comes up with these acronyms?? Why do we not have a Nebula Observation Belt? Or a Far Away Reflective Telescope?? Or even a Primary Infra-red Space Spectrometer??

I think there should be a think tank for this.

Paris, 'cos she's got a Bright Energy Analogous Vector Enhancement Ray (or something)!

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Awesome

That's all.

@ DL - Cheers!

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Boffin

L2

I presume these scopes are destined to *orbit* L2 rather than occupy it. Might end up a bit of a squeeze once Herschel, Planck, Eddington, Gaia, the James Webb Space Telescope and Darwin all take up residence.

Incidentally, I think it's rather neat that L2 is 1.01 AU from the Sun. There's something pleasing about the ratio between the gravitational strength of the Earth-Moon system and the Sun. A bit like the coincidence of the Sun and Moon's apparent size, which makes for such striking solar eclipses.

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@Luis

You rock man, you must work at NASA or ESA. They will have to rename any missions just because of you!!!

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Happy

Way to go!!!

Annex the lagrange points before the military get their mitts on it!

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Boffin

For Science!

I know I shouldn't have, but I immediately thought of Agatha Heterodyne: http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/

They should have got Phil Foglio to design the emblem for them.

The scientist, because it's the nearest thing they have to a Spark.

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