News archive

News archive

For the Hubble Space Telescopes 10th anniversary on 27 April, ESA opens a new service. The Hubble European Space Agency Information Centre offers information about Hubble from a European perspective. Not only has Hubbles first 10 years produced a rich harvest of scientific results, it has also touched the man in the street with its beautiful images of the sky. With this initiative ESA shows its commitment to public outreach and to the communication of science.With an expected life time of 20 years, Hubble is now at the midpoint of its life. It has so far been one of the most successful scientific space missions, and the continuous maintenance and upgrade of the observatory through the Servicing Missions makes Hubbles next ten years appear even more promising
Published: 27 April 2000
The earliest stages of formation of planetary systems remain very poorly known because of thethick layers of opaque dust that hid them. The European Space Agency's infrared spacetelescope, ISO, has measured the size of a proto-planetary system, surrounding a newly-born star, a Spanish team ofastronomers report in tomorrow's issue of the journal Science. ISO sees a very young'baby-star' surrounded by a disk of the same diameter as Jupiter's orbit, in which planetsare likely to form in the future.
Published: 27 April 2000
The 'Boomerang' (Balloon Observations Of Millimetric Extragalactic Radiation ANd Geomagnetics) project, whose results appear in 'Nature' tomorrow [27 April 2000], will provide "exciting high quality data" for cosmology, says ESA astronomer Jan Tauber, project scientist of ESA's next mission to study the origin and evolution of the Universe, Planck.
Published: 26 April 2000
Why is it that meteors - popularly known as shooting stars - are seen ingreater numbers from an aircraft than from the ground? It's an absorbingtale, according to ESA's Detlef Koschny, one of the speakers at theInternational Leonid Multi-Instrument Aircraft Campaign (Leonid-MAC)Workshop, which is currently being held in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Published: 26 April 2000
An extraordinary opening for the 44th National Congress of the Italian Astronomical Society (SAIt) in Monte Porzio, Italy this week - pupils of an elementary school Giosue Carducci (Monte Porzio) danced the Origin of the Universe set to the music of Strauss. This original event was part of the opening session of the Congress, co-sponsored by ESA, entitled: Astronomy in town, on Sunday 9 April 2000.Thanks to a series of educational initiatives by the Astronomical Observatory of Monte Porzio, roman schools are becoming familiar with space science and astronomy. Dr Roberto Buonanno, Director of the Observatory, has for many years been promoting lectures addressed to schools, in order to complement the science curriculum and to make astronomy accessible to students of all ages.
Published: 25 April 2000
Following the authorisation from the ESA Flight Acceptance Review Board on 18 April, members of the Cluster II team are preparing for the Cluster II spacecraft's long trip to the Baikonur launch site in Kazakhstan.
Published: 21 April 2000
Following a detailed status review of ESAs gamma-ray observatory a new launch date has been selected. A Russian Proton rocket will put Integral into orbit on 22 April 2002.
Published: 19 April 2000
To mark the Hubble Space Telescope's tenth anniversary, ESA is hosting a press conference at the Space Telescope-European Coordinating Facility (ST-ECF) in Munich on Thursday 27 April. With the astronauts who took part in the most recent Servicing Mission (SM3A) in attendance, ESA is taking the opportunity to give a - first - complete overview of Europe's major contribution to the HST mission. It will also review the first ten years of operations and the outstanding results that have changed our vision of the cosmos.
Published: 17 April 2000
Mars Express on target and forging links with JapanProgress on building the Mars Express spacecraft is proceeding according to plan. We are following our schedule, Rudi Schmidt, Mars Express project manager, said last week at a science working team meeting attended mainly by scientists who are building payload instruments.
Published: 17 April 2000
Teamwork by an amateur astronomer and a retired member of the European Space Agency has resulted in the first picture of XMM-Newton seen from the Northern Hemisphere. ESA's new X-ray observatory - launched on 10 December 1999 and now going through the calibration phase of its science instruments - had already been snapped on 11 January by Australian amateur Gordon Garradd.
Published: 17 April 2000
Calibration operations providing a lot of extremely interesting dataThe first XMM-Newton Science Working Team meeting since the launch of the X-ray observatory last December has just been held at Vilspa on 5/6 April. It was an exceptionally well attended gathering. Convened by Project Scientist Fred Jansen, all those present had much to discuss, with new X-ray data and images to show.
Published: 14 April 2000
As the Science Working Team met in Vilspa, the XMM-Newton spacecraft was preparing to enter its first eclipse, which Mission controllers in Darmstadt were following closely.
Published: 14 April 2000
All satellites are designed to face up to unexpected circumstances. XMM-Newton, ESA's new X-ray observatory launched last December, proved the reliability of its onboard systems when the spacecraft placed itself in standby mode on 2 April.
Published: 14 April 2000
Astronomical data archives increasingly resemble virtual gold mines of information. A new project, known as ASTROVIRTEL aims to exploit these astronomical treasure troves by allowing scientists to use the archives as virtual telescopes.
Published: 12 April 2000
Extragalactic Astronomy & Cosmology from Space, July 18 - 27, 2000 Alpbach/Tyrol - AustriaThe theme of this year's Alpbach Summer School is 'Extragalactic Astronomy and Cosmology from Space' which has acquired growing importance with the advent of large ground based facilities and ambitious space missions, altogether spanning a wide wavelength range from the far infrared to the gamma-ray band. As a result, a very active worldwide community of astrophysicists has developed which is now actively involved in the exploitation of recently launched space missions and the preparation of new and more ambitious ones.
Published: 7 April 2000
Opportunities arising because Portugal is joining the European Space Agency were aired at a scientific meeting in Porto, 30 March - 1 April. Entitled "Space Astronomy: from the Sun's vicinity to large scale structures", the meeting was jointly organized by the Centro de Astrofisica da Universidade do Porto and ESA. While ESA scientists and other visitors gave overviews of space science, Portuguese astronomers reported relevant research in progress in their country.
Published: 7 April 2000
Ulysses, the joint ESA/NASA spacecraft, has added comet spotter to its list of talents. Two papers published in Nature today report that on 1 May 1996, the spacecraft flew through the tail of comet Hyakutake whose nucleus was more than 3.5AU (one AU equals the Sun-Earth distance) away at the time "This makes it the longest comet tail ever recorded", says Geraint Jones from Imperial College, London who is a member of one of the two instrument teams that made the discovery.
Published: 6 April 2000
For current astronomers, the 'darkest' epoch of the universe is the time when the first galaxies started to form and evolve: no instrument today can peer into that era. Unveiling it will be the task of the next giant space-and ground-based telescopes, which will provide different pieces of information to complete the jigsaw at last. As astronomers explained last week in Munich at the conference 'Astronomical Telescopes and Instruments 2000', ESA's space telescope FIRST will take the lead in this task, unveiling the galactic collisions that produced the first stellar 'baby boom' in the history of the Universe. NGST, a mission currently under study by several spaces agencies, will follow two years later.
Published: 5 April 2000
The Cluster II Flight Acceptance Review Board, which was chaired by ESA Director of Science, Professor Roger Bonnet, and co-chaired by ESA Director of Strategy Jean-Jacques Dordain, met at the Agencys Paris Headquarters yesterday to carry out a detailed examination of all aspects of the Cluster II mission.
Published: 3 April 2000
More than 80 astrophysicists from all over the world travelled to the small town of Les Diablerets in the Swiss Alps to learn how to use ESA's Integral satellite, once it is in orbit, to gather powerful gamma-radiation coming from distant objects in the Universe. A gamma-ray telescope is very different from a normal optical telescope. Thus special data analysis is needed to transform the signals measured by the scientific instruments on board Integral to fundamental physical units and images that describe the properties of the radiation entering the telescope
Published: 3 April 2000
21-Sep-2021 11:33 UT

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