Herschel, Planck and the Sylda seen from ground after separation from the upper stage of the Ariane 5, just hours after launch, starting at 23:30 CEST on 14 May.
The 1m Zeiss telescope at ESA’s Optical Ground Station Station at Tenerife in Spain searched and followed Herschel and Planck. At the time the images were taken, Herschel, Planck and the Sylda support structure were travelling at an altitude of about 100 000 km from Earth.
Four bright objects are clearly visible in the images, three of them form a clear triplet moving in coordination in the centre (the Sylda is the fainter of the three). The fourth object standing is presumed to be the upper stage of the Ariane 5.
This animation has been produced jointly by the Astronomical Institute of the University of Bern, Ataman Science S.L.U. and Aboa Space Research Oy. Optical observations at ESA’s Optical Ground Station are managed by the ESA Space Debris Office.