News archive

News archive

An angry Sun fired off another powerful X-class flare on Tuesday, 10April. X-class flares are the most powerful classification, andthis flare, rated X-2, was the most recent in a series that includedan X-20 flare, one of the most powerful flares in 25 years. Aneruption of electrified gas, called a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME),was observed shortly after Tuesday's flare and is heading our way.Depending on the orientation of the magnetic field carried by the CMEcloud, it may cause a magnetic storm when it impacts the Earth's ownmagnetic field.
Published: 12 April 2001
The search for water in space goes on. Using ESA's Infrared Space Observatory (ISO), Spanish and Italian astronomers have for the first time measured the total amount of water in cold regions of our galaxy. This is especially interesting because these regions are the birthplace of stars like the Sun, and Solar Systems like our own. These new measurements show that water is more abundant than expected - in fact it is the third most abundant molecule in the regions which were studied.
Published: 11 April 2001
Almost exactly 15 years ago, during the night of 13/14 March 1986, ESA's Giotto spacecraft made history by obtaining the first close-up pictures ofa comet's black, icy nucleus.After surviving a battering from grains of comet dust, Giotto went on to become the first spacecraft to visit a second comet. The flyby of Comet Grigg-Skjellerup in July 1992 is still the closest encounter ever achievedwith one of these cosmic icebergs.
Published: 10 April 2001
If you live in Europe, there's almost certainly a research institute or industrial company near you that is contributing materials or expertise to Mars Express, Europe's first mission to the Red Planet. Under the umbrella of the European Space Agency, at least 25 companies from 15 European countries are building hardware or software for the spacecraft, or otherwise contributing their expertise; and more than 200 scientists from research institutes in all ESA member states and beyond are contributing towards the scientific payload. "The Mars Express project is providing about 1000 jobs throughout Europe," estimates Rudi Schmidt, Mars Express Project Manager at ESTEC, the European Space Agency's technical centre in the Netherlands.
Published: 6 April 2001
On 2 April 2001 the Director of Science issued an Announcement of Opportunity for a Herschel Optical Systems Scientist. In the interest of appointing the Optical Systems Scientist on a short timescale, the deadline for submitting a Letter of Intent is 12 April, and the Proposals are due by 25 April. Note, however, that a proposal may be submitted even if a Letter of Intent has not been sent in time for the deadline.
Published: 6 April 2001
From time to time, something may happen to bring home the fact that people are not compatible. At such times, it becomes obvious that there is a breakdown in a relationship with a partner or work colleague.
Published: 6 April 2001
On Monday 2 April at 23:51 Central European Time (21:51 UT) the Sun unleashed a major solar flare near its northwestern (upper right-hand) side. Originally classified as an X17 flare, it has now been upgraded to X20, and appears to be the biggest flare yet on record. Monday's flare is the strongest flare since 16 August 1989 when the last X20 flare occurred and is certainly more powerful than the famous 6 March 1989 flare which was related to the disruption of the power grids in Canada. The event was well observed by the ESA-NASA SOHO spacecraft.
Published: 5 April 2001
Greater investment in space science would help nurture Europe's scientific community and consequently build up the knowledge-based society that Europe's heads of state declared they wanted at the European Union summit in Lisbon last year. This was a common message delivered to the General Assembly of the European Geophysical Society in Nice last week by the outgoing and incoming directors of ESA's science programme.
Published: 5 April 2001
While Huygens 'sleeps' during most of the seven year trip to Titan, many of the Cassini Orbiter instruments have already started to obtain exciting scientific data. For example, during the gravity-assist manoeuvres aroundVenus and Earth in mid-1999, calibration measurements were made. These are important for understandingthe in-flight performances of the instruments and for preparing for the mission for which they have beendesigned - observations of Saturn and Titan.
Published: 5 April 2001
It was standing room only for the "Water and life on Mars" session at the European Geophysical Society's General Assembly in Nice last week. "This shows that the life issue is by no means dead. This was a very lively session," commented Agustin Chicarro, Project Scientist for ESA's Mars Express mission.
Published: 5 April 2001
Last night at 23:51 Central European Time (21:51 UT, 2 April) the Sun unleashed a major solar flare near its northwestern (upper right-hand) side and the event was well observed by the ESA-NASA SOHO spacecraft. It was classified as an X17 flare, probably the strongest flare since 16 August 1989 when an X20 flare occurred. It was slightly more powerful than the famous 6 March 1989 flare which was related to the disruption of the power grids in Canada. The latest event hurled a coronal mass ejection into space - but apparently not towards the Earth, so the impacts will probably be less severe.
Published: 3 April 2001
Extremely intense radiation from newly born, ultra-bright stars has blown a glowing spherical bubble in the nebula N83B. A new NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image has helped to decipher the complex interplay of gas and radiation in a star-forming region of a nearby galaxy.
Published: 28 March 2001
Seventh in-flight checkout report; 22-23 March 2001
Published: 26 March 2001
A 100 metre-wide space rock known as 2001 EC16 paid a passing visit to Earth's vicinity earlier today. As it swept by at a little over 1.7 million km from Earth - approximately four and a half lunar distances - the only people to pay it much attention were a dedicated band of astronomers.
Published: 22 March 2001
The 7th regular in-flight Huygens Probe checkout is scheduled to take place tonight at 21:00 UTC. The purpose of these regular in-flight checkouts is to verify the good health of the Probe and of its scientific payload.
Published: 21 March 2001
Most of their time is spent frozen in the outer reaches of the solar system. But when these balls of ice and dust, which we know as comets, decide to make an appearance, the spectacle is often grandiose. This is mainly caused by their warming up as they approach the Sun. Astronomers then have a chance to investigate comets closely, including at X-ray wavelengths, as XMM-Newton did at the end of January 2001.
Published: 20 March 2001
Geophysicists attending next week's General Assembly of the European Geophysical Society in Nice won't just be discussing the latest scientific research about the Earth. They will also be turning their attention to other bodies within our solar system and the missions Europe is sending to explore them.
Published: 19 March 2001
On 14 March, in Paris, ESA's Industrial Policy Committee approved the awarding of the main contract for the manufacture of the Herschel and Planck scientificsatellites. This contract, the largest so far for a space science project undertaken by ESA, has been awarded to a European industrial consortium led by Alcatel Space Industries of France, with Astrium GmbH of Germany and Alenia Spazio of Italy also as main contractors.
Published: 19 March 2001
Last week marked the start of the integration campaign for ESA's SMART-1 mission. On 13 March, SMART-1 began to take shape as assembly of the structural model (STM) began at the APCO integration facility in Vevey, Switzerland.
Published: 18 March 2001
The centre of attention was not a fashion model. But, as in a haute-couture fashion house, it was being dressed for the big day. Nimble fingers cut and trimmed, and dazzling gold-coloured material was delicately pinned and attached.
Published: 14 March 2001
27-Oct-2021 01:22 UT

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