News archive

News archive

A huge ring of organic matter surrounding a young star has been observed by the European Space Agency's ISO space telescope. This is a kind of structure never detected before. With this finding ISO shows again a clear example of how the stars and their environment work as nature's chemical factories: not only is water being produced there - as ISO demonstrated -, but complex organic molecules are also present; these molecules are, essentially, the basic building blocks of all living organisms.
Published: 15 October 1998
The European Space Agency's ISO space telescope has detected the first known infrared-bright gravitational arcs, which are the distorted and magnified images of very faraway objects. The gravitational arcs seen by ISO are revealing some of the farthest objects ever detected in the infrared, and scientists believe they may be distant young galaxies in collision. They number more than thirty, and their distance falls close to the place and time of the Big Bang.
Published: 15 October 1998
The Andromeda galaxy, one of the closest and best-known companions of our own galaxy, has been hiding from the astronomers' eyes one of its secrets: although it has always been considered as a typical spiral galaxy, it has now been shown to be a spectacular ringed galaxy. This is one of the observations made by the European Space Agency's ISO infrared telescope, whose results are being presented at a meeting in Paris 20-23 October, attended by about 400 astronomers from all over the world.
Published: 15 October 1998
Flares from the far reaches of the Universe, giant black holes in theheart of galaxies, clouds of radioactive material in our Milky Way,extremely dense remnants of dead stars and starquakes on bizarre,magnetised objects: the list of phenomena that emit powerful gamma raysis long and full of mysteries.
Published: 17 September 1998
For recent reviews on the age of the Universe, distances to Globular Clusters & the LargeMagellanic Cloud and the RR Lyrae distance scale see the Scientific Results page.
Published: 15 September 1998
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has taken a 'family portrait' of young, ultra-bright stars nested in their embryonic cloud of glowing gases. The celestial maternity ward, called N81, is located 200 000 light-years away in the Small Magellanic Cloud, a small irregular satellite galaxy of our Milky Way. These are probably the youngest massive stars ever seen in the nearby galaxy.
Published: 24 July 1998
The European Infrared Space Telescope (ISO) finds a new population of galaxies, the first objects known to contribute to the background glow of the universe. The discovery will help to solve the mystery of galaxy formation.
Published: 24 July 1998
The head of the European Space Agency's (ESA) Science Programme will tell more than 200 astronomers gathered in Belgium today that Europe could play a significant role in the development of a new space telescope.
Published: 18 June 1998
The baseline INTEGRAL orbit has been modified to relfect the options available from a Proton launch.
Published: 15 June 1998
The European Space Agency's Infrared Space Observatory (ISO) was switched off on 16 May at 12:00 UT, thereby bringing to a close the highly-successful in-orbit operations of the ISO mission.
Published: 18 May 1998
Astronomers have obtained an unprecedented look at the nearest example of galactic cannibalism - a massive black hole hidden at the center of a nearby giantgalaxy that is feeding on a smaller galaxy in a spectacular collision. Such fireworks were common in the early universe, as galaxies formed and evolved, but are raretoday.
Published: 15 May 1998
Although ISO observations finished on 8 April, new results continue to pour as astronomers process their ISO data. A team of American astronomers has discovered a large concentration of water vapour in a cloud of interstellar gas close to the Orion Nebula.
Published: 10 April 1998
ESA's Infrared Space Observatory, ISO, has ended its observational phase, long after the expiry date of the end of May 1997 foreseen in the specifications for the mission. Instead of the required 18 months, the astronomers have been able to use ISO for more than 28 months, and as a result have gathered a wealth of additional information about the Universe. Altogether ISO has made over 26 000 observations of cosmic objects.
Published: 9 April 1998
Water vapour detected on Saturn's largest moon, Titan, and infrared galaxies identified atimmense distances are among the latest results from ESA's Infrared Space Observatory (ISO). At a press briefing in London on 7 April, ESA's director of science, Roger Bonnet, said "ISO is one of the most successful space observatories, and in the infrared it has had no rival." Its discoveries will change our views on the Universe.
Published: 7 April 1998
Data of exceptional accuracy, from ESA's star-mapping satellite Hipparcos, show that distant stars aremoving in unexpected directions. Their strange behaviour could mean that the shape of the Milky Way Galaxy is changing. Ateam of astronomers from Turin Observatory and Oxford University announced the discovery in the 2 April issue of theLondon science journal Nature.
Published: 1 April 1998
Astronomers at the universities of Amsterdam, Louvain, Groningen and Utrecht have found proof that planets can form around old, dying stars. In the vicinity of the Red Rectangle, an old binary star in the Monoceros constellation, they have detected a ring of matter constituting the first stage of planet formation. Their results will be published in Nature on 26 February. It had previously been assumed that planets can form only round new-born stars.
Published: 26 February 1998
A landmark result in the science of the stars comes with a complete and accurate description of the Hyades cluster of more than 200 stars, from measurements by the European Space Agency's star-mapping satellite Hipparcos. With the distance to this historically important tribe of stars now known to better than 1 per cent, theories of the evolution of stars are put on a secure basis at last.
Published: 19 February 1998
Looking like a black pillar more than 10 metres tall, Europe's largest scientific spacecraft now stands in a test bay at ESTEC, ESA's space and technology centre at Noordwijk in the Netherlands where journalists and cameramen have a unique opportunity to view the XMM satellite at close quarters.
Published: 10 February 1998
The position in the sky of the "silent" neutron star Geminga is now known to within about 10 millionths of a degree (0.04 arc-second) thanks to results from ESA's Hipparcos star-fixing satellite combined with observations made by the Hubble Space Telescope. Geminga emits pulses of gamma rays like a ticking clock, but its apparent rate changes because of the Earth's motion in orbit around the Sun. Using the Hipparcos position to correct this effect, astronomers have made a continuous reckoning of some 3 200 000 000 pulses in the gamma-rays emitted by Geminga, going back to observations by NASA's SAS-2 and ESA's COS-B gamma-ray satellites in the 1970s.
Published: 5 January 1998
A formal Agreement between the European Space Agency and the Russian Space Agency confirms that a Russian Proton launcher will lift ESA's Integral satellite into space in 2001. In return, Russian astronomers will have about a quarter of the observing time on Integral, as it examines gamma-ray sources in the Universe.
Published: 18 November 1997
25-Apr-2024 03:39 UT

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