Campus Life

Herschel launch a rousing success

The ISIS program is already reaping dividends for the University of Lethbridge. As a result, its students will prosper for years to come.

The first major project under the recently formed Institute for Space Imaging Science, a collaboration with the University of Calgary, went into space Thursday with the launch of the Herschel Space Observatory. But while ISIS may be relatively new, the technology behind the equipment launched with the Herschel has been in the works for more than a decade.

Included was the Spectral and Photometric Imaging Receiver (SPIRE), a piece of equipment U of L physicist Dr. David Naylor has been developing, along with 100 or so of his students, over the past 15 years. He was the lone Canadian scientist in French Guiana Thursday to observe the launch of Herschel.

"After over a decade of working to get the spectrometer in space, our work begins as we use the device in earnest for the task it was designed to do," Naylor told the Lethbridge Herald following the successful launch.

Over 80 supporters crammed into Esquires Coffee Shop in downtown Lethbridge Thursday morning for the 7:12 a.m. launch. The fact the
U of L played such a significant role was not lost on Naylor as he commented about the possibilities now open to students for generations to come.

"Now our work truly starts - over the coming months and years my students (graduate and undergraduate) will use Herschel to explore the universe - they have an unparalleled opportunity, right here in southern Alberta," he told the Herald.