News archive

News archive

After more than three years of inactivity, today the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope's Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer (NICMOS) is once again active. Equipped with a new cryogenic refrigerator, it reveals various breathtaking views of the Universe.
Published: 5 June 2002
Jubilant astronomers today unveiled humankind's most spectacular views of the Universe as captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope's new Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS). They also reported that Hubble is operating superbly since the March servicing mission and are looking forward to more pictures from the newly revived NICMOS camera.
Published: 30 April 2002
The disturbed spiral galaxy NGC 7673 is ablaze with the light from millions of new stars. Each of its infant giant blue star clusters shines 100 times as brightly in the ultraviolet as similar immense star clusters in our own Galaxy. Scientists studying this object have two pressing questions: "What has triggered this enormous burst of star formation and how will this galaxy evolve in the future?"
Published: 24 March 2002
As part of the on-going Hubble servicing mission a new instrument, the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) was installed on the ESA/NASA Hubble Space Telescope on the morning of 7 March 2002 (European time). We talked to Piero Benvenuti, ESA's project scientist for Hubble, and asked him to share some of his thoughts on this occasion.
Published: 7 March 2002
When the new Advanced Camera for Surveys was installed on the ESA/NASA Hubble Space Telescope Thursday noon (European time) it replaced the European Space Agency's Faint Object Camera (FOC). FOC has spent a record-breaking 4340 days (nearly 12 years) in space. Throughout its 12-year lifetime FOC has celebrated a number of successes. Most notable are the first direct image of the atmosphere of a star, the first sighting of surface details on the planet Pluto, and the first image of an 'exposed' black hole.
Published: 6 March 2002
The power for Hubble's scientific discoveries comes from solar cells. Designing and constructing Hubble's first two sets of solar cell arrays constituted a huge technological achievement for the European Space Agency and European industry. After an in-orbit life of more than 8 years, this example of pioneering space technology was this morning (European time) replaced by new, more powerful arrays.
Published: 4 March 2002
After nearly 12 years of incredible scientific discoveries, the ESA/NASA Hubble Space Telescope orbiting Earth is about to have another service visit. The purpose is to upgrade Hubble's systems and to install newer and more powerful instruments that will astoundingly increase Hubbles discovery capabilities and extend the longevity of the observatory.
Published: 14 February 2002
Combining Hubble Space Telescope images with radio observations has revealed a highly unusual system consisting of a fast spinning pulsar and a bloated red companion star. The existence of the system is something of a mystery - the best explanation so far is thatwe have our first view of a millisecond pulsar just after it has been 'spun up' by its red companion star.
Published: 12 February 2002
The "ESA/ESO Astronomy Exercise Series", published today, allows students to gain exciting hands-on experience in astronomy by making realistic calculations with data obtained by the world's best telescopes. The students measure and calculate the distances and ages of astronomical objects, among the most basic problems in modern astrophysics, using observations made by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and ESO's Very Large Telescope.
Published: 13 December 2001
A new European initiative called the Astrophysical Virtual Observatory (AVO) is being launched to provide astronomers with a breathtaking potential for new discoveries. It will enable them to seamlessly combine the data from both ground- and space-based telescopes which are making observations of the Universe across the whole range of wavelengths - from high-energy gamma rays through the ultraviolet and visible to the infrared and radio.
Published: 4 December 2001
Astronomers have observed a Dark Matter objectdirectly for the first time. Images and spectra of a MACHO microlens -a nearby dwarf star that gravitationally focuses light from a star inanother galaxy - were taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope andthe European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope. The result isa strong confirmation of the theory that a large fraction of DarkMatter exists as small, faint stars in galaxies such as our Milky Way.
Published: 4 December 2001
A new image from the Hubble Space Telescope is an example of 'painting with light'. Astronomers use the separated colours produced by oxygen and hydrogen to investigate star-forming processes in the nebula NGC 2080. The colours explain much about the nature of such nebulae.
Published: 18 October 2001
A very small, faint galaxy - possibly one of the longsought `building blocks' of present-day galaxies - has beendiscovered by a collaboration between the Hubble Space Telescope and the Keck Telescopes at a tremendous distance of 13.4 billion light-years (based on the estimate of 14 billion years as the age of the Universe). The discovery was made possible by examining small areasof sky viewed through massive intervening clusters of galaxies. Theseact as a powerful gravitational lens, magnifying distant objects andallowing scientists to probe how galaxies assemble at very earlytimes. This has profound implications for our understanding of howand when the first stars and galaxies formed in the Universe.
Published: 5 October 2001
The dedicated team effort to understand and correctsystematic effects in observations from Hubble's Faint ObjectSpectrograph has now been concluded. In future astronomers who usethe observations from this instrument will be able to measure theexact velocity of interstellar clouds, as well as the motions ofindividual parts of nebulae and galaxies. This will for instance leadto better determinations of black hole masses.
Published: 11 September 2001
A new, detailed Hubble image of a planetary nebula inthe making shows for the first time the complex gas structurespredicted by theory. Astronomers are thrilled by observations showingthe violent gas collisions that give rise to supersonic shock fronts.
Published: 24 August 2001
Ceres, the first asteroid (minor planet) to be discovered in the Solar System, has held the record as the largest known object of its kind for two centuries. However, recent observations at the European Southern Observatory with the worlds first operational virtual telescope, Astrovirtel, have determined that the newly discovered distant asteroid '2001 KX76' is significantly larger, with a diameter of 1200 km, possibly even 1400 km.
Published: 23 August 2001
Hubble observations have revealed huge waves sculpted in the Red Spider Nebula. This warm and windy planetary nebula harbours one of the hottest stars in the Universe and its powerful stellar winds generate waves 100 billion kilometres high intimidating for even the bravest space surfers.
Published: 24 July 2001
The Double Cluster NGC 1850 found in one of our neighbouring galaxies, the Large Magellanic Cloud, is an eye-catching object. It is a young globular-like star cluster - a type of object unknown in our own Milky Way galaxy. Moreover, NGC 1850 is surrounded by a pattern of filamentary nebulosity thought to have been created during supernova blasts.
Published: 10 July 2001
Piercing the heart of a globular star cluster with its needle-sharp vision, the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has uncovered tantalising clues to what could potentially be a strange and unexpected population of wandering, planet-sized objects.
Published: 27 June 2001
An extensive, multi-wavelength study with the Hubble Space Telescope has shown the many faces of the galaxy NGC 1512. Hubble's unique vantage point high above the atmosphere allows scientists to see objects over a broad range of wavelengths from the ultraviolet to the infrared.
Published: 31 May 2001
22-Feb-2020 11:12 UT

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