ESA Science & Technology - News Archive
Three decades ago, a massive stellar explosion sent shockwaves not only through space but also through the astronomical community. SN 1987A was the closest observed supernova to Earth since the invention of the telescope and has become by far the best studied of all time, revolutionising our understanding of the explosive death of massive stars.
Published: 24 February 2017
Scientists using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have observed, for the first time, a massive, comet-like object that has been ripped apart and scattered in the atmosphere of a white dwarf. The destroyed object had a chemical composition similar to Halley's Comet, but was 100 000 times more massive than its famous counterpart.
Published: 9 February 2017
By using galaxies as giant gravitational lenses, an international group of astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have made an independent measurement of how fast the Universe is expanding.
Published: 26 January 2017
The sheer observing power of the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope is rarely better illustrated than in an image such as this. This glowing pink nebula, named NGC 248, is located in the Small Magellanic Cloud, just under 200 000 light-years away and yet can still be seen in great detail.
Published: 20 December 2016
An extraordinarily brilliant point of light seen in a distant galaxy, and dubbed ASASSN-15lh, was thought to be the brightest supernova ever seen. But new observations from several observatories, including the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, have now cast doubt on this classification.
Published: 12 December 2016
New observations from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have revealed the intricate structure of the galaxy NGC 4696 in greater detail than ever before. The elliptical galaxy is a beautiful cosmic oddity with a bright core wrapped in system of dark, swirling, thread-like filaments.
Published: 1 December 2016
Astronomers using data from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescopes and other telescopes have performed an accurate census of the number of galaxies in the Universe. The group came to the surprising conclusion that there are at least 10 times as many galaxies in the observable Universe as previously thought.
Published: 13 October 2016
A distant planet orbiting two stars, found by its warping of spacetime, has been confirmed using observations from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.
Published: 22 September 2016
An international team of astronomers using Hubble have been able to study stellar evolution in real time. Over a period of 30 years dramatic increases in the temperature of the star SAO 244567 have been observed. Now the star is cooling again, having been reborn into an earlier phase of stellar evolution. This makes it the first reborn star to...
Published: 13 September 2016
A fossilised remnant of the early Milky Way harbouring stars of hugely different ages has been revealed by an international team of astronomers. This stellar system resembles a globular cluster, but is like no other cluster known.
Published: 7 September 2016
Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, along with other telescopes on the ground and in space, have discovered the system AR Scorpii to be a new type of exotic binary star.
Published: 27 July 2016
Fifty years ago Captain Kirk and the crew of the starship Enterprise began their journey into space – the final frontier. Now, as the newest Star Trek film hits cinemas, the NASA/ESA Hubble space telescope is also exploring new frontiers, observing distant galaxies in the galaxy cluster Abell S1063 as part of the Frontier Fields programme.
Published: 21 July 2016
This new NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image reveals the beating heart of one of the most visually appealing, and most studied, supernova remnants known – the Crab Nebula. At the centre of this nebula the spinning core of a deceased star breathes life into the gas that surrounds it.
Published: 7 July 2016
Astronomers are using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope to study auroras – stunning light shows in a planet's atmosphere – on the poles of the largest planet in the Solar System, Jupiter. This observation programme is supported by measurements made by NASA's Juno spacecraft, currently on its way to Jupiter.
Published: 30 June 2016
This new image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows a cosmic tadpole, with its bright head and elongated tail, wriggling through the inky black pool of space. Tadpole galaxies are rare and difficult to find in the local Universe. This striking example, named LEDA 36252, was explored as part of a Hubble study into their mysterious...
Published: 28 June 2016
Astronomers have used Hubble to measure the distances to stars in nineteen galaxies more accurately than previously possible. They found that the Universe is currently expanding faster than the rate derived from measurements of the Universe shortly after the Big Bang.
Published: 2 June 2016
Astrophysicists have taken a major step forward in understanding how supermassive black holes formed. Using data from Hubble and two other space telescopes, Italian researchers have found the best evidence yet for the seeds that ultimately grow into these cosmic giants.
Published: 24 May 2016
During May 2016 the Earth and Mars get closer to each other than at any time in the last ten years. The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has exploited this special configuration to catch a new image of our red neighbour, showing some of its famous surface features. This image supplements previous Hubble observations of Mars and allows astronomers...
Published: 19 May 2016
This new NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image, released to celebrate Hubble's 26th year in orbit, captures in stunning clarity what looks like a gigantic cosmic soap bubble. The object, known as the Bubble Nebula, is in fact a cloud of gas and dust illuminated by the brilliant star within it.
Published: 21 April 2016
Astronomers have uncovered one of the biggest supermassive black holes, with the mass of 17 billion Suns, in an unlikely place: the centre of a galaxy that lies in a quiet backwater of the Universe.
Published: 6 April 2016
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