News archive

News archive

The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) is a joint ESA/NASA project launched into a low-Earth orbit 600 km above the ground in 1990 by Space Shuttle mission STS-31. During its first nine years of operations HST has become one of the most important science projects ever.
Published: 25 November 1999
Just 24 days before its third Servicing Mission, the Hubble Space telescope has been placed into a safe mode, triggered by a failure in one of Hubble's last three working gyroscopes.
Published: 15 November 1999
The object shown in these ESA/NASA Hubble Space Telescope images is a remarkable example of a star going through death throes just as it dramatically transforms itself from a normal red giant star into a planetary nebula. This process happens so quickly that it is quite rare to observe such objects, even though astronomers believe that most stars like the Sun will eventually go through such a phase.
Published: 19 October 1999
The Hubble Space Telescope is uncovering important new clues to a galaxy's birth and growth by peering into its heart - a bulge of millions of stars that resemble a bulbous centre yolk in the middle of a disk of egg white. Hubble astronomers are trying to solve the mystery of which came first: the stellar disk or the central bulge? Two complementary surveys by independent teams of astronomers using Hubble show that the hubs of some galaxies formed early in the Universe, while others formed more slowly, across a long stretch of time.
Published: 6 October 1999
Detailed proposals for the construction of the Next Generation Space Telescope (NGST) were presented during the yearly NGST meeting. Representatives from the three major participants in the project, NASA, ESA, and CSA discussed scientific ideas and technological possibilities for "the space observatory of the next decade". NGST will be launched in late 2007 or early 2008.
Published: 17 September 1999
One thousand years ago an explosion in the vicinity of a star created a huge bubble of gas, one of those objects that astronomers call a nebula. Some hundred years afterwards a second outburst followed and another nebula was born. Today, European astronomers have pictured the relics of both events with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope: two hourglass-shaped nebulae, one nestled inside the other like Russian dolls. The system, called 'Southern Crab Nebula' (He2-104) because it looks like the body and legs of a crab, is located a few thousand light years from Earth in the Southern Hemisphere.
Published: 3 September 1999
Astounding new images of more than a dozen very distant colliding galaxies have been obtained by a European-led team of astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. These colliding objects are part of a large concentration of galaxies, a galaxy cluster. Though collisions have been observed in other clusters this particular cluster displays by far the largest number ever seen. To astronomers, the finding indicates that, at least in some cases, the big, massive galaxies form through collisions between smaller ones, in a "generation after generation" never-ending story.
Published: 15 July 1999
Newborn stars are difficult to observe because they are always hidden within dense clouds of dust. And if the star is really a massive one, say 10 times heavier than our Sun, spotting the starbirth is almost impossible: massive stars evolve so quickly that by the time the dust disperses they are 'teenagers', not babies anymore, 20% of their lifetime has already passed. Using the ESA/NASA Hubble Space Telescope a team of European astronomers * has been able to pinpoint several of these massive baby stars, one of which has created - while evolving - an impressive butterfly-shaped nebula of dust around it during its early life.
Published: 10 June 1999
European Space Agency astronauts Claude Nicollier and Jean-FrancoisClervoy will be part of a team of experienced astronauts that will belaunched on the Space Shuttle in October of this year on an earlier thanplanned mission to service the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope. AlthoughHubble is operating normally and continuing to conduct its scientificobservations, its pointing system has begun to fail.
Published: 14 March 1999
A Hubble Space Telescope "view down a 12 billion light-year long corridor of space loaded with a dazzling assortment of thousands of never-before seen galaxies", says the NASA press release.This picture is the culmination of a 10-day long observation called the Hubble Deep Field South (HDF-S) carried out in October by a team of astronomers at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) and Goddard Space Flight Center.
Published: 23 November 1998
European Space Agency astronaut Claude Nicollier from Switzerland will be aboard the US Space Shuttle Columbia when it takes off from Cape Canaveral in May 2000, on flight STS-104, for the third servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope. Claude Nicollier has been selected as one of the four mission specialists for STS-104, together with three NASA astronauts - Steven L. Smith, Michael Foale and John M. Grunsfeld.
Published: 4 August 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
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
A team of astronomers from the California Institute of Technology announced today that a recently detected cosmic gamma-ray burst was as bright as the rest of the universe, releasing a hundred times more energy than previously theorized.
Published: 6 May 1998
Infant galaxies, distant quasars, exploding stars, mysterious black holes, colliding galaxies. Since its launch on 24 April 1990, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has provided a stunning view of our universe by making unique discoveries and capuring spectacular images
Published: 23 April 1998
New Observations of Intergalactic Helium Absorption Observations of the bright southern quasar HE 2347-4342 with telescopes at the ESO La Silla Observatory and with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope (HST) have provided a group of European astronomers1 with an exceptional glimpse into an early, still unexplored transition period of the Universe. At that time, many billions of years ago, some of the enormous gaseous clouds of hydrogen and helium left over from the Big Bang had not yet been fully ionized by the increasingly strong radiation from emerging galaxies and stars.
Published: 1 August 1997
Excellent use of Hubble continues to provide astronomers in ESA's member states with a disproportionate share of the space telescope's observing time. ESA has a 15 per cent stake in the Hubble Space Telescope project, earned by providing the Faint Object Camera, the first two sets of solar power arrays, and some staff at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore. Current European-led programmes account for about 22 per cent of the observing schedule. So what have Europe's astronomers been doing with Hubble?
Published: 11 February 1997
The European Space Agency's Faint Object Camera in the Hubble Space Telescope has identified a neutron star, the smallest and densest type of star that exists, lying approximately 3000 light-years away in the southern sky. It is 100 million times dimmer than faint stars seen by the unaided eye. Thus the Faint Object Camera lives up to its name by revealing objects in the Universe close to the limit of visibility.
Published: 28 November 1996
New observations with the Hubble Space Telescope have determined the age of the stars in the globular Cluster NGC 6752 with unprecedented accuracy. The age of the stars in globular clusters is significant because these stars are believed to have formed during the era of the formation of our galaxy, an event which probably occurred only 1 to 2 billion years after the birth of the Universe itself. An accurate age estimate for these cluster stars is thus regarded as an important means of gauging the age of the Universe.
Published: 28 May 1996
Italian astrophysicists have pushed the Hubble Space Telescope to the limit of its powers in finding the distance of Geminga, a pointlike object 500 light-years from the Earth. It is the prototype of a novel kind of star, a radio-silent neutron star, which may be much more common in the Universe than previously supposed. Geminga is so weak in visible light that Hubble had to stare at the spot for more than an hour to register it adequately. The object is nevertheless one of the brightest sources of gamma-rays in the sky, and its output of this very energetic form of radiation can now be accurately gauged.
Published: 28 March 1996
27-Sep-2020 04:00 UT

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