Herschel Space Obsevatory
This artist’s illustration shows the European Space Agency’s infrared Herschel Space Observatory set against a background image of the Vela C star-forming region. The space telescope launched in 2009 and ended its mission in 2013.Image: ESA/PACS & SPIRE Consortia, T. Hill, F. Motte, Laboratoire AIM Paris-Saclay, CEA/IRFU – CNRS/INSU – Uni. Paris Diderot, HOBYS Key Programme Consortium

After nearly four years mapping the “hidden universe,” the largest infrared telescope ever launched into space has reached the end of its life, European Space Agency officials say.

The $1.4 billion Herschel Space Observatory has exhausted the vital supply of liquid helium coolant that allowed it make the most sensitive and detailed observations of the cosmos in infrared light, ESA officials announced Monday (April 29).

The infrared space telescope’s official end was recorded by a ground station in Australia, which recorded an increase in temperature for all of the spacecraft’s instruments during the telescope’s daily communications session. It began its mission in May 2009. [Amazing Photos from the Herschel Space Telescope]

via World’s Largest Infrared Space Telescope Shuts Down Forever: Scientific American.