News archive

News archive

Scientists using the joint European Space Agency (ESA)/NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft have discovered "jet streams" or "rivers" of hot, electrically charged gas called plasma flowing beneath the surface of the Sun. They also found features similar to trade winds that transport gas beneath the Sun's fiery surface.
Published: 29 August 1997
On 25 August, results from ESA's Infrared Space Observatory (ISO) are being presented to the world's astronomers, who have gathered in Kyoto, Japan for the XXIIIrd General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union. A full day is being used for a special session containing 18 separate presentations which illustrate the breadth of ISO's influence in astronomy, ranging from deep surveys and cosmology through extragalactic and galactic studies to our own solar system.
Published: 14 August 1997
A team of astronomers from the United States and Germany has discovered trace amounts of hydrogen fluoride gas in the near vacuum of interstellar space, using the European Space Agency's Infrared Space Observatory satellite, ISO, which was launched in November 1995.
Published: 12 August 1997
New Observations of Intergalactic Helium Absorption Observations of the bright southern quasar HE 2347-4342 with telescopes at the ESO La Silla Observatory and with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope (HST) have provided a group of European astronomers1 with an exceptional glimpse into an early, still unexplored transition period of the Universe. At that time, many billions of years ago, some of the enormous gaseous clouds of hydrogen and helium left over from the Big Bang had not yet been fully ionized by the increasingly strong radiation from emerging galaxies and stars.
Published: 1 August 1997
The Infrared Space Observatory ISO ought to be running out of fuel by now, 20 months after its launch on 17 November 1995, yet the astronomers and controllers at Villafranca in Spain are busier than ever. Thanks to meticulous engineering and some good fortune, the satellite's working life has stretched from a specified minimum of 18 months to more than 28 months. ESA's unique space telescope for exploring the cool and cloudy Universe by infrared rays should, according to present calculations, remain operational until April 1998.
Published: 22 July 1997
The launch of NASA's Cassini spacecraft, with the European Space Agency's Huygens probe onboard has been rescheduled for Monday 13 October with a new launch window of 09:55 - 12:15 UT (04:55 - 07:15 EDT).
Published: 16 July 1997
An anomaly involving the ground cooling to the Huygens probe was discovered 29 August 1997. At that time the Probe and the Cassini spacecraft were mounted on the Titan IV rocket on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral Air Station, FL.
Published: 16 July 1997
In 1997 spacecraft built by the European Space Agency are opening new windows on our Universe and offering new prospects for scientific discovery.
Published: 16 July 1997
An assembly of 58 mirrors, carefully sized, formed and nested one inside another, makes the most sensitive X-ray telescope ever built. ESA's new satellite called XMM, for X-ray Multi-Mirror, will carry three identical telescopes of this kind when it goes into orbit in 1999. With its gold- coated reflecting surfaces totalling 300 square metres, XMM will revolutionize X-ray astronomy. Observations of X-rays from cosmic sources that previously took hours to accomplish will be done by XMM in a matter of seconds.
Published: 13 May 1997
To find anything to rival the new results on star positions and motions from the Hipparcos satellite, the European Space Agency's director of science has to look back 400 years. Commenting on the Hipparcos Symposium which commences in Venice on 13 May, Roger Bonnet compares it to astronomy in Denmark at the end of the 16th Century.
Published: 12 May 1997
The smart place for globe-trotting astronomers to be in May is on the island of San Giorgio in Venice, Italy. There they will gather, 13-16 May, to celebrate and discuss astonishing information about the stars that has come from ESA's Hipparcos satellite.
Published: 6 May 1997
Water is the medium of life, and ESA's cosmic water diviner continues to detect it in a wide variety of sources in the cosmos where it was previously unknown. Astronomers using ESA's Infrared Space Observatory, ISO, have found water vapour in dark clouds lying towards the centre of the Milky Way. They calculate that water is abundant in our Galaxy.
Published: 29 April 1997
Almost 300 renowned astronomers, astrophysicists and physicists from all over the world will gather in Venice on 13-16 May at the Hipparcos Venice 97 Symposium, organized by the European Space Agency.
Published: 8 April 1997
While Comet Hale-Bopp steams away into the outer darkness, not to return to the Sun's vicinity for many centuries, the European Space Agency and multinational teams of space scientists are finalizing plans to examine another comet at very close quarters, in the Rosetta mission.
Published: 3 April 1997
Comets contain the remnants of the raw materials that built the Earth and the other planets of the Solar System. Emphatic confirmation of this long-standing belief of astronomers comes from the detection of the mineral olivine in Comet Hale-Bopp, by ESA's Infrared Space Observatory, ISO. The 28 March issue of the US journal Science carries a report on this result by a European and American team led by Jacques Crovisier of l'Observatoire de Paris-Meudon.
Published: 28 March 1997
ESA's Science Programme Committee, meeting at ESA Headquarters in Paris today, has agreed on the reflight of a full Cluster mission by mid-2000. After months of intense negotiations and an impressive display of solidarity by all ESA member States and the scientific community at large in supporting the reflight, this mission to investigate the physical interaction between the Sun and our planet is back on track.
Published: 26 March 1997
If you had infrared eyes, Comet Hale-Bopp would look quite different from the streaky visible object now examined by astronomers' telescopes and amateurs' binoculars all around the world, as the comet approaches its close encounter with the Sun. You would see not just the very fine dust thrown out by the comet, which makes its head and tail conspicuous to ordinary human eyes, but larger particles of dust. The colour or dominant wavelength of the infrared glow would tell you the temperature of the dust cloud. And infrared hues at other wavelengths would reveal the nature of the dust, and let you see what vapours emanate from the comet's nucleus as the Sun's rays warm its chilly surface.
Published: 14 March 1997
The European Space Agency's Huygens probe is ready to be shipped to the Kennedy Space Center. On arrival, it will undergo special tests and then be mated with the Cassini Saturn orbiter for launch in October 1997 on a Titan IVB/Centaur rocket.
Published: 3 March 1997
An action-packed motion picture from ESA's solar spacecraft SOHO astonishes the experts and will enthral the public. It shows the Sun at Christmas sailing in front of the stars of the Sagittarius constellation and the Milky Way, while blowing its solar wind outwards in all directions around it. During the movie, the Sun swallows a comet. In a subsequent unconnected event it emits a plainly visible puff of gas, in a large mass ejection.
Published: 14 February 1997
The observable Universe may be about 10 per cent larger than astronomers have supposed, according to early results from the European Space Agency's Hipparcos mission. Investigators claim that the measuring ruler used since 1912 to gauge distances in the cosmos was wrongly marked.
Published: 14 February 1997
7-Aug-2020 16:39 UT

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