News archive

News archive

Using the powerful trick of gravitational lensing, a European and American team of astronomers have constructed an extensive ‘mass map’ of one of the most massive structures in our Universe.
Published: 17 July 2003
There are many mysterious objects seen in the night sky which are not really well understood.
Published: 22 May 2003
In one of the largest and most detailed celestial images ever, astronomers today unveil the coil-shaped Helix Nebula to celebrate Astronomy Day.
Published: 9 May 2003
Recent observations with the Hubble Space Telescope suggest that the first stars formed as little as 200 million years after the Big Bang. This is much earlier than previously thought. Astronomers have observed large amounts of iron in the ultraluminous light from very distant, ancient quasars. This iron is the 'ashes' left from supernova explosions in the very first generation of stars.
Published: 30 April 2003
Like the fury of a raging sea, this anniversary image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows a bubbly ocean of glowing hydrogen, oxygen, and sulphur gas in the extremely massive and luminous molecular nebula Messier 17.
Published: 24 April 2003
In January 2002, a moderately dim star in the constellation Monoceros, the Unicorn, suddenly became 600 000 times more luminous than our Sun. This made it temporarily the brightest star in our Milky Way. The light from this eruption created a unique phenomenon known as a 'light echo' when it reflected off dust shells around the star.
Published: 25 March 2003
Using the Hubble Space Telescope, for the first time, astronomers have observed the atmosphere of an extrasolar planet evaporating off into space. Much of this planet may eventually disappear, leaving only a dense core. The planet is a type of extrasolar planet known as a 'hot Jupiter'. These giant, gaseous planets orbit their stars very...
Published: 11 March 2003
The central region of the small galaxy NGC 1705 blazes with the light of thousands of young and old stars. Astronomers call NGC 1705 a dwarf irregular, that is, a small galaxy lacking regular structure. Knowing how dwarf irregular galaxies evolve tells us a lot about galaxy formation and evolution.
Published: 5 March 2003
The Boomerang Nebula is a young planetary nebula and the coldest object found in the Universe so far. The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image illustrates how Hubble's keen vision reveals surprises in celestial objects.
Published: 19 February 2003
Imagine you are an astronomer with instant, fingertip access to all existing observations of a given object and the opportunity to sift through them at will. In just a few moments, you can have information on all kinds about objects out of catalogues all over the world, including observations taken at different times.
Published: 16 December 2002
A nearby black hole, hurtling like a cannonball through the plane of our Milky Way, has provided possibly the best evidence yet that stellar-mass black holes are made in supernova explosions. This black hole is streaking across space at a rate of 400 000 kilometres per hour - 4 times faster than the average velocity of the stars in the galactic neighbourhood. What has made it move so fast? The most likely 'cannon' is the explosive kick of a supernova, one of the Universe's most titanic events.
Published: 17 November 2002
Resembling a delicate rose floating in space, the nebula N11A is seen in a new light in a true-colour image taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. Fierce radiation from massive stars embedded at the centre of N11A illuminates the surrounding gas with a soft fluorescent glow.
Published: 12 September 2002
An image taken with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows one of the most unusually long planetary nebulae found so far. Scientists think planetary nebulae hold the key to understanding how the Universe became enriched with heavier elements so they study them intensively. It is not well-understood how a perfectly round star can turn into such an unusual-looking nebula.
Published: 18 July 2002
Combining data from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT), a group of European and American astronomers have made a major discovery. They have identified a huge number of 'young' stellar clusters, in an old elliptical galaxy. For the first time, it has been possible to identify several distinct periods of star formation in a galaxy as old as this one. Elliptical galaxies have always been considered to have undergone one early star-forming period and thereafter to be devoid of star formation. However, the combination of the best and largest telescopes in space and on the ground has now clearly shown that there is more than meets the eye.
Published: 26 June 2002
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
27-Sep-2020 03:57 UT

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