This artist's impression shows the "starburst" galaxy HFLS3. The galaxy appears as little more than a faint, red smudge in images from the Herschel space observatory. But appearances can be deceiving for it is making stars more than 2,000 times faster than our own Milky Way galaxy, one of the highest star-formation rates ever seen in any galaxy. Amazingly, it is seen at a time when the universe was less than a billion years old, challenging galaxy evolution theories.
Herschel is a European Space Agency cornerstone mission, with science instruments provided by consortia of European institutes and with important participation by NASA. NASA's Herschel Project Office is based at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. JPL contributed mission-enabling technology for two of Herschel's three science instruments. The NASA Herschel Science Center, part of the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at Caltech in Pasadena, supports the United States astronomical community. Caltech manages JPL for NASA.