News archive

News archive

A serendipitous survey of the heavens with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope (HST) is uncovering remote and unusual galaxies never before resolved by optical telescopes on Earth. HST reveals an unusual variety of shape and structure in these distant galaxies, which previously appeared as fuzzy blobs in ground-based sky surveys. These tantalizing early results may lead to a much clearer understanding of the formation and evolution of galaxies.
Published: 24 June 1992
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has provided astronomers with what may be their first direct view of an immense ring of dust which fuels a massive black hole at the heart of the spiral galaxy M51, located 20 million light-years away. Surprisingly, they found that the ring is standing almost perpendicular to the relatively flat spiral galaxy, like a top spinning on its side with respect to the floor. Even more surprising is the discovery of a secondary ring or dust lane which is contrary to all expectations.
Published: 8 June 1992
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope (HST) has revealed a new class of object in the universe - a grouping of gigantic star clusters produced by the collision of galaxies. Images of the core of the peculiar galaxy Arp 220 show that stars are produced at a furious rate from the dust and gas supplied by the interaction of two galaxies.
Published: 2 June 1992
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has revealed an unusual and fascinating new optical jet in the nucleus of the elliptical galaxy NGC 3862."It appears that we are seeing a new class of phenomenon," says Dr. Philippe Crane, of the European Southern Observatory in Garching, Germany, who discovered the jet in images sent back by the European Space Agency's Faint Object Camera on board HST. "The jet-like feature was totally unexpected in this galaxy. This is typical of the kinds of discoveries that were expected from HST."
Published: 7 May 1992
Astronomers report that they have found new evidence that a black hole weighing 3 million times the mass of the Sun exists at the center of the nearby elliptical galaxy M32, based on images obtained with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope (HST). The images show that the stars in M32 become extremely concentrated toward the nucleus. This central structure resembles the gravitational "signature" of a massive black hole. The presence of a black hole in an ordinary galaxy like M32 may mean that inactive black holes are common to the centers of galaxies. The new HST images show that M32 is an interesting "laboratory" for testing theories of the formation of massive black holes.
Published: 8 April 1992
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has provided intriguing new clues to cataclysmic events in the history of the peculiar galaxy NGC 1275, located approximately 200 million light-years from Earth.Astronomers have discovered about 50 bright objects at the center of the galaxy which appear to be young massive globular star clusters. This is a surprising discovery because most globular clusters are among the oldest objects in the universe; in fact, they are used as a bench mark for estimating the age of the universe.
Published: 16 January 1992
Astronomers report today that they have found intriguing evidence that a black hole weighing over 2.6 billion times the mass of the Sun exists at the center of the giant elliptical galaxy M87, based upon images taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope (HST). The images show that stars become strongly concentrated towards the center of M87, as if drawn into the center and held there by the gravitational field of a massive black hole.
Published: 16 January 1992
Using a unique capability of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope (HST) astronomers announced today that they have detected the rare element boron in an ancient star. This element may be "fossil" evidence of energetic events which accompanied the birth of our Milky Way galaxy. An alternative possibility is that this rare element may be even older, dating from the birth of our universe. If so, then the HST findings may force some modification in theories of the Big Bang itself.
Published: 13 January 1992
Astronomers reported today that recent ultraviolet observations with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope suggest that what were thought to be randomly distributed, nearby primordial clouds of hydrogen may actually be associated with galaxies or clusters of galaxies.
Published: 13 January 1992
Drs. Bahcall, Dan Maoz, Donald Schneider, and Brian Yanny, all of the Institute for Astronomers are reporting surprising and interesting initial results from a survey of several hundred quasars now being carried out with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope (HST). Using HST's extremely high resolution images, this "Snapshot Survey" program has sought to detect evidence on gravitational lensing at a level of detail not obtainable with ground-based telescopes.
Published: 13 January 1992
High-resolution observations of the core of the globular cluster 47 Tucanae, made with the European Space Agency's Faint Object Camera (FOC) onboard NASA's Hubble Space Telescope (HST), provide new evidence that stars may collide and capture each other and gain a new "lease on life" in the process. The FOC observations reveal a surprisingly high concentration of a unique class of star called blue stragglers, which may evolve from "old age" back to a hotter and brighter "youth". These stars may also play a critical role in the dynamic evolution of the cluster's core.
Published: 24 July 1991
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope (HST) has begun a long-term program to monitor seasonal and interannual changes that occur on the surface and in the atmosphere of the planet Mars. This program will allow for a better understanding of the Martian climate and processes involved in surface changes, and may eventually allow scientists to characterize global weather patterns on Mars, which will be an important prerequisite for a manned expedition to the red planet.
Published: 18 May 1991
Observations of a massive, unstable star called Eta Carinae, made with the Wide Field and Planetary Camera (WF/PC) aboard NASA's Hubble Space Telescope HST, reveal surprising and complex new structure in a dusty nebula surrounding the star. New details include a jet of material flowing away from the star and a regularly spaced set of wave-like features. The results are being reported on May 17, 1991 at the Hubble Space Telescope Science Writer's Workshop in Baltimore Md.
Published: 17 May 1991
Recent observations of the remnants of Supernova 1987A, conducted with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have provided an unexpected bonus - an accurate determination of the absolute distance to the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way, located in the southern hemisphere.
Published: 16 January 1991
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has provided a detailed view of a ten thousand light-year long jet of plasma which has been ejected from the core of a galaxy 270 million light-years away. Observations made with the European Space Agency's Faint Object Camera (FOC) reveal that the jet has an unusual braided structure, like a twisted pair of wires. "This is the first time that such a structure has been seen in an optical jet," says F. Duccio Macchetto, ESA's Principal Investigator on the FOC and Head of the Science Programs Division at the Space Telescope Science Institute.
Published: 15 January 1991
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has provided an unprecedented, detailed view of highly energetic events in the core of a galaxy 30 million light-years away. The observations are a first step in HST's search for super-massive black holes at the nuclei of active galaxies.
Published: 4 October 1990
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has peered into the inner core of the nearby so-called "symbiotic star", R Aquarii, to reveal dramatic new details of the exploding star. The observations were made with the European Space Agency's Faint Object Camera.
Published: 4 October 1990
NASA is releasing a Hubble Space Telescope (HST) photograph of the most remarkable star forming region in the Local Group of Galaxies, 30 Doradus. The photograph shows about 60 stars within a central tight cluster in 30 Doradus. In contrast, earlier photographs with ground-based telescopes, supplemented by mathematical analysis, have shown only 27 stars in the tight cluster, which is called R136. Before the ground-based studies showed that so many stars are present in R136, some astronomers thought it was a single, supermassive object, with as much as 3000 times the mass of the Sun.
Published: 13 August 1990
The European Space Agency's Faint Object Camera aboard NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has successfully taken its first engineering test pictures of the heavens. This "first light" picture for the Faint Object Camera (FOC) is the culmination of several weeks of intensive check-out and testing of the camera, following the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) last April 24.
Published: 22 June 1990
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