News archive

News archive

NASA's Cassini spacecraft, approaching Jupiter, is detecting waves inthe thin gas of charged particles that fills the space between the Sunand its planets. The waves are in low radio frequencies, which have beenconverted to sound waves to make the patterns audible.
Published: 17 December 2000
Quasars are the most luminous known objects in the Universe. They can emit 1000 times the energy of our entire Galaxy, and this prodigious luminosity originates from objects only the size of our solar system. XMM-Newton has detected the X-rays of the most distant known quasar, providing a view of the Universe when it was less than 1 billion years old.
Published: 15 December 2000
The nineteenth century spirit of discovery is inspiring the effort to land the first probe on Mars in the twenty first century. Last week, as if to give the inspiration a boost, the largely-British team building the Beagle 2 lander for Mars Express held the second meeting for 'adjunct' scientists in one of the finest nineteenth century monuments to discoveries about life on Earth - the Natural History Museum in London.
Published: 14 December 2000
There are still quite a lot of unsolved mysteries in our neighbourhood, the Solar System. Astronomers knowvery little, for instance, about the so-called 'transneptunian objects': a ring of asteroid-type bodies located beyond planet Neptune. Dutch astronomer Gerald Kuiper predicted the existence of this 'belt' fifty years ago - it is therefore named the 'Kuiper belt'-, but the first detection of one of its constituent bodies only happened in 1992. Further surveys have provided an estimate of how many objects are actually there: possibly 10.000 bodies with a diameter larger than 300 kilometres, and maybe three million larger than 30 kilometres in diameter. Only 300 of them have been observed so far. The list of pending questions about them is very long: what's their precise origin and composition? Which of the comets that periodically visit the Earth are 'Kuiper objects'? ESA's next infrared space telescope, the Herschel Space Observatory - formerly called 'FIRST' - will help to provide the answers, astronomers gathered in Toledo (Spain) said yesterday.
Published: 14 December 2000
The Andromeda galaxy (M31), only 2.6 million light years away, is an ideal field of study for X-ray astronomy. XMM-Newton has observed its galactic centre, revealing many new point sources and the probable presence of a very hot diffuse gas which contributes to the overal X-ray luminosity.
Published: 14 December 2000
ESA's 'Herschel Space Observatory' will find out the nature of the first galaxies.How much energy has been released throughout the history of the Universe? As surprising as it may seem, astronomers can deduce that value. Most of the energy is 'locked' in a faint 'glow' that fills the whole universe, and is the remnant of all the energy emitted in the remote past by the first galaxies. That glow, called the 'infrared background radiation', was first detected a few years ago. Now the big question for astronomers is: 'what' were the sources that created the glow? No telescope so far has been able to 'pinpoint' those primeval galaxies to say what they were. ESA's next infrared space telescope, FIRST, is the only instrument able to do the job, as concluded yesterday by astronomers gathered in Toledo (Spain).
Published: 13 December 2000
Eberhard T. Gr|n, principal investigator for the Ulysses DUST experiment, has been elected a fellow of the American Geophysical Union for his work with dust detectors on several interplanetary missions. Using results gathered by the Ulysses DUST detector, Gr|n and his colleagues at the Max-Planck-Institut f|r Kernphysik in Heidelberg, Germany, were the first to identify interstellar dust deep within the solar system.
Published: 13 December 2000
This week European and American researchers seize a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to gather simultaneous observations from the NASA/ESA Cassini/Huygens space mission and the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.
Published: 13 December 2000
Due to a happy coincidence the ESO/ST-ECF Science Archive Facility is celebrating three different milestones at the same time: its 10th anniversary, the 10,000th request for data and the signing-up of active user number 2000.
Published: 12 December 2000
On the 200th anniversary of the discovery of infrared light by William Herschel, ESA's Far Infrared and Submillimetre Telescope, FIRST, will be re-named the 'Herschel Space Observatory'. This was announced this morning by ESA's Director of Science, Roger Bonnet, during the opening of the FIRST conference in Toledo, Spain. The Anglo-German astronomer William Herschel discovered infrared light 200 years ago, thanks to which astronomers can now observe a facet of the Universe that otherwise remains hidden.
Published: 11 December 2000
Whilst producing impressive science results, ESA's XMM-Newton and NASA's Chandra X-ray observatories have been weathering a truly harsh space environment. Radiation, which can hinder observations and even damage sensitive detectors aboard the two spacecraft has, at times, exceeded expected levels. During a three-day XMM-Newton workshop held at the mission's Science Operations Centre at VILSPA at the end of November, scientists have exchanged their findings and solutions to safeguard their missions.
Published: 11 December 2000
Representatives of the Rosetta science instrument teams came together from all over Europe and the United States last week for the 7th meeting of the Rosetta Science Working Team.
Published: 10 December 2000
Special operations began on Friday 1 December to keep Ulysses communicating with Earth over the next year when the spacecraft is closest to the Sun during the short leg of its orbit.
Published: 6 December 2000
200 astronomers gather in Toledo, Spain, to set the scientific agendafor ESA's next infrared space telescope
Published: 5 December 2000

Providing new insights into black holes and unravelling the composition of intergalactic matter XMM-Newton is certainly living up to its promises. The European Space Agency has presented the first examples of the scientific results being provided by the new X-ray observatory.

Published: 5 December 2000
JPL have planned four webcasts to mark Cassini-Huygens' Jupiter Millennium Flyby later this month. These live presentations, hosted by Charles White, JPL Design Hub System Engineer, will discuss the mission and other topics related to the exploration of Jupiter and Saturn.
Published: 5 December 2000
Some 70 representatives of the international Cluster scientific communitycame together last week for the 35th Cluster Science Working Team at theEuropean Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany.
Published: 3 December 2000
In celebration of the birthday of its most diligent watcher,the Sun has let loose an unusual and quick-fire series of eruptionsduring the past few days. Saturday will be the 5th anniversary of SOHO'slaunch into space, on 2 December 1995.
Published: 29 November 2000
Today (27 November), Ulysses becomes the first space probe to fly over the south pole of the Sun twice. The European spacecraft has reached a maximum latitude of 80.1 degrees south. The international teams of scientists working with the mission are raising their glasses to toast the intrepid solar explorer only weeks after celebrating the 10th anniversary of its launch.
Published: 26 November 2000
A year after launch, ESA's XMM-Newton X-ray observatory is fully living up to its promise with a steady stream of fascinating data. To mark the anniversary and to present the first sample of the mission's scientific results, the media are invited to a press conference to be held at European Space Agency headquarters in Paris on 6 December.
Published: 23 November 2000
1-Aug-2021 18:19 UT

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