News archive

News archive

In January 1996, the Hubble Space Telescope released a picture of part of the sky in the Ursa Major constellation. Known as the Hubble Deep Field (HDF), it offered mankind's deepest and most detailed optical view of the Universe. Since then the image has become a reference for astronomers with numerous follow-up observations at other wavelengths. Today, XMM-Newton contributes its own X-ray vision of this notable region of the heavens.
Published: 1 November 2001
Call for Letters of Interest
Published: 31 October 2001
The Cluster four spacecraft measurements allow for the measurement of many differential quantities. The gradient of the electron density is one of them. This parameter is key in magnetospheric physics since it is involved in the motion of plasma boundaries and structures.
Published: 31 October 2001
Once in orbit, space telescopes can produce heavenly pictures. ESA's new gamma-ray observatory INTEGRAL - just a year away from launch - will be focusing on some of the highest energy celestial sources. Before seeing the stars, one of INTEGRAL's four instruments has been taking some down-to-Earth but surprising pictures - a famous discus thrower and a bottle of champagne.
Published: 26 October 2001
The impressive rho Ophiuchi cloud is one of the heavenly meeting points for astronomers in search of young stars. Located 540 light-years away in the constellation of Ophiucus, in the celestial equator, this dusty region is the nest of more than one hundred newborn stars. But ESA's Infrared Space Observatory, ISO, has also found a surprise hidden in the dust: 30 brown dwarfs, elusive and ambiguous objects considered to be 'failed stars' because they have too little mass to shine as stars. Relatively few of these brown dwarfs have been identified so far, so finding one is like winning a trophy. With this discovery ISO has turned the rho Ophiuchi region into a favourite game reserve for brown-dwarf hunters.
Published: 25 October 2001
People living at high latitudes may have to endure long, icy winters, but Nature has stepped in to offer some compensation in the form of the auroras - the beautiful, shimmering curtains of red and green that illuminate the polar skies. Now the four Cluster spacecraft have begun to shed new light on the processes that make this dazzling display possible.
Published: 23 October 2001
Black holes may be worse monsters than we thought. Not only do they inexorably devour matter around them, but they may also be able to steadily belch out energy. This is the conclusion of a European-led team of astronomers whose work with ESA's XMM-Newton X-ray observatory has produced surprising new results.
Published: 22 October 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
On 15 October 1997, the skies over Cape Canaveral were illuminated by the fiery exhaust from a mighty Titan IVB/Centaur rocket. It was the start of one of the great adventures in space exploration a seven-year trek which would end with the NASA Cassini spacecraft in orbit around the planet Saturn and the deployment of ESA's Huygens probe onto the unseen surface of Titan, one of the largest satellites in the Solar System.
Published: 16 October 2001
Astrium will build the 3.5-metre mirror for ESA's Herschel Space Observatory Giant telescopes with primary mirrors of 8 metres in diameter are now common on the ground, but it will take a while before they can jump into space. The first 'space giant' to come will be on ESA's Herschel Space Observatory, to be launched in 2007.
Published: 15 October 2001
For the second time in its 11-year lifetime, ESA's Ulysses spacecraft is about to fly over the Sun's north pole. On Saturday, 13 October, it will reach its highest north solar latitude (80 degrees north). At about the same time, solar and heliospheric scientists will meet in Oxnard, California, to discuss the latest findings about the heliosphere, the vast region of space blown out by the solar wind and over which our Sun holds sway.
Published: 11 October 2001
Centuries ago it was commonly believed that comets carried disease in their tails. Nowadays we know the only 'disease' you can get from a comet is a cold - if you stay out too long at night watching it! But these old beliefs were not completely wrong: comet tails do contain an extremely poisonous chemical compound - hydrogen cyanide. Now a team of Dutch and German astronomers using ESA's Infrared Space Observatory and the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope on Hawaii have discovered that this poison can help them to understand the birth of massive stars - its presence is a sign that a massive baby star has begun to warm up.
Published: 10 October 2001
Like ships on a never-ending expedition around the world, ESA's four Cluster spacecraft continue to explore the mysterious magnetic environment that surrounds the Earth - a stormy sea filled with electrified particles instead of water. As the quartet surveys the planet's poles, they are discovering the secrets of the northern cusp - a funnel-shaped opening in the magnetic field.
Published: 9 October 2001
The Mars Society, the US-born group lobbying for the human exploration of Mars, is expanding into Europe.
Published: 8 October 2001
Order is returning to the solar wind as the Sun begins to shake off the chaos that has characterised its behaviour during the recent peak in its 11-year activity cycle.
Published: 8 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 Dutch morning mist enveloped the Danish flag on 25 September when the country's Minister for Information Technology and Research, Mrs Birte Weiss, arrived at ESA's European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC). The Minister was accompanied by a party of Danish Parliamentarians led by Mrs Lise Haekkerup, Vice Chairperson of the Danish Parliamentary Research Committee. The visit coincided with the formal delivery of the Danish JEM-X instrument to fly on ESA's INTEGRAL mission.
Published: 27 September 2001
Important steps towards the realisation of a unique East-West collaboration were taken during a recent visit to Beijing by European scientists and engineers. During the week of 10-14 September, representatives from ESA and 10 European instrument teams took the opportunity to renew acquaintance with engineers working on the Double Star mission.
Published: 27 September 2001
Important steps towards the realisation of a unique East-West collaboration were taken during a recent visit to Beijing by European scientists and engineers. During the week of 10-14 September, representatives from ESA and 10 European instrument teams took the opportunity to renew acquaintance with engineers working on the Double Star mission.
Published: 27 September 2001
ESA closing in on Earth-like planets and gravitational waves
Published: 27 September 2001
8-Mar-2021 01:01 UT

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