News archive

News archive

A comet that fell into the Sun on 7 February was tracked by twodifferent instruments on the ESA-NASA SOHO spacecraft, enablingscientists to characterize it quite precisely. This was just one ofnearly 300 comets discovered by SOHO since 1996, thanks mainly to theprivileged view of the sky around the Sun given by the visible-lightcoronagraph LASCO. On this occasion SOHO's ultraviolet coronagraph UVCSalso observed the comet repeatedly. It gave valuable additionalinformation, both about the comet and about the solar wind close to theSun.
Published: 22 February 2001
Although a space telescope will, and should, be remembered mainly for its discoveries, its technology and the way it was operated also provide invaluable information for the future. Last week, scientists met to discuss and analyse in detail this other less obvious legacy left by ESA's Infrared Space Observatory, ISO, a pioneer in infrared space astronomy. Future missions will certainly learn from both the successes and the 'could-have-done-better' aspects, said the representatives from the next ESA, NASA and Japanese infrared space telescopes at a workshop in Spain. Thanks to ISO, there are now more than a hundred new well-understood infrared sources for calibration, including asteroids and planets.
Published: 19 February 2001
Studies of near-Earth space will never be the same again, following the successful commissioning of the European Space Agency's Cluster mission.
Published: 15 February 2001
An extra facility has been added to the network of ground stations used to control XMM-Newton. In addition to Perth and Kourou, flight controllers at the European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt are now also using a station in Santiago, Chile, to communicate with the spacecraft and receive its science data.
Published: 15 February 2001
In the summer of 1999, millions of people across Europe peered upwards at the sky in an effort to see one of Nature's wonders - a total eclipse of the Sun. On 25 January, European engineers and scientists witnessed an eclipse of a different kind - the passage of four Cluster spacecraft through the outer part of the Moon's shadow.
Published: 11 February 2001
Report of 'Mars City' Competition opening event in Brielle, 2nd of February.Ex-astronaut Wubbo Ockels arrived at his old primary school in Brielle, Holland, in a school milk truck with the very first 'Mars City' competition package last Friday.
Published: 8 February 2001
The 1st Convention of Lunar Explorers, organised by LUNEX , ILEWG and ESA, will be held Palais de la Decouverte, Paris, on 8-10 March 2001. ESA's SMART-1 mission to the Moon will be presented to the public and the press. The Lunar Explorers Society (LUNEX ) is an international organisation created in July 2000, which aims to promote the exploration of the Moon for the benefit of humanity. LUNEX wants to bridge the gap between space agencies and the general public to promote planetary exploration and space. The 1st Convention will allow the discussion of the science of the Moon, technology, future utilisation of the Moon, lunar bases, public outreach and education, lunar and planetary exploration, and the recommendations of Young Lunar Explorers.
Published: 7 February 2001
Observers, and even the most powerful ground and space telescopes, seecelestial objects (stars and galaxies) in two dimensions. Today, atESTEC, the audience at the Space Science Department Colloquium "OurGalaxy - in Three Dimensions" were treated to a uniquethree-dimensional view of our Galaxy.
Published: 7 February 2001
Even as the Rosetta Electrical Qualification Model (EQM) continues to be put through its paces in Italy, the Rosetta team is looking forward to the next stage in the spacecraft's development programme.
Published: 7 February 2001
Six months after four Cluster spacecraft congregated in Earth orbit, scientists are beginning to gather the first scientific results from ESA's unique mission to explore the magnetosphere - the magnetic shield that surrounds our planet.
Published: 6 February 2001
A special calibration test is being conducted with the Huygens receivers on board Cassini. This test is the first key milestone of the work performed by the Huygens Recovery Task Force which has been jointly set up by ESA's Science Director and NASA's Science Associate Administrator. The test results will provide a solid engineering basis for the design of new mission scenarios which can recover the Huygens relay link performance.
Published: 2 February 2001
Cluster's unique mission formally got under way yesterday when the ESA Commissioning Review Board gave unanimous approval for the start of scientific operations.
Published: 1 February 2001
With a spacecraft behaving admirably, a greatly improved efficiency in managing observations, and the extremely high-quality science data being returned, members of the XMM-Newton Science Working Team (SWT), who met in Spain on 23-24 January, were justifiably happy. Attendance was exceptional for this last SWT in its present form.
Published: 1 February 2001
Observed from ground-based telescopes, the so-called 'antnebula' (Menzel 3, or Mz3) resembles the head and thorax of a common garden ant. This dramatic NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image, showing 10 times more detail, reveals the 'ant's body' as a pair of fiery lobes protruding from a dying, Sun-like star.
Published: 31 January 2001
Wubbo Ockels invites junior school children to take part in the ESA 'Mars City' competition.
Published: 31 January 2001
The spacecraft ESA will send to Mars in 2003 is now well and truly under construction. Last week, engineers at Contraves, Zurich, Switzerland were celebrating the readiness of the Mars Express flight structure to undergo tests to ensure that it meets its design requirements. "The tests are starting on time. If you look at our planning from the beginning of the programme, we're keeping to the schedule. It's extremely pleasing," says Don McCoy who is responsible for assembly, integration and verification for Mars Express at ESTEC.
Published: 30 January 2001
Published: 30 January 2001
Luminous starburst galaxies are where a lot of young stars are currently forming. They come in two different varieties: starbursts where the star creation is spread evenly throughout the galaxy and those where it is concentrated at its nucleus. Sometimes activity at the centre is so intense that fantastic 'bubbles' are created giving rise to streams of hot gas, or 'superwinds'. XMM-Newton has recently gained new insights into one such starburst galaxy, NGC 253.
Published: 29 January 2001
Hamid Hassan died on 7 January this year after a three-year fight against the illness, which he learned about shortly after his retirement from the European Space Agency.
Published: 28 January 2001
Space scientists are a hard-working, dedicated group, and fewhave worked harder than those involved in getting the four Clusterspacecraft up and running. With this in mind, two members of the Clusterground-based community recently displayed courage and dedicationbeyond the call of duty to support Cluster observations.
Published: 28 January 2001
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