ESA Science & Technology - News Archive
Fifty years ago Captain Kirk and the crew of the starship Enterprise began their journey into space – the final frontier. Now, as the newest Star Trek film hits cinemas, the NASA/ESA Hubble space telescope is also exploring new frontiers, observing distant galaxies in the galaxy cluster Abell S1063 as part of the Frontier Fields programme.
Published: 21 July 2016
Using observations from ESA's Venus Express satellite, scientists have shown for the first time how weather patterns seen in Venus' thick cloud layers are directly linked to the topography of the surface below. Rather than acting as a barrier to our observations, Venus' clouds may offer insight into what lies beneath.
Published: 18 July 2016
Last week, 80 European teachers had the opportunity to attend a special workshop that highlighted the major areas of space science and technology. These teachers now have an important mission - to bring this information back into the classroom, where it will help them teach and inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers across Europe.
Published: 13 July 2016
ESA's orbiting X-ray observatory, XMM-Newton, has proved the existence of a 'gravitational vortex' around a black hole. The discovery, aided by NASA's NuSTAR mission, solves a mystery that has eluded astronomers for more than 30 years and will allow them to map the behaviour of matter very close to black holes.
Published: 12 July 2016
This new NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image reveals the beating heart of one of the most visually appealing, and most studied, supernova remnants known – the Crab Nebula. At the centre of this nebula the spinning core of a deceased star breathes life into the gas that surrounds it.
Published: 7 July 2016
Earth's atmosphere is leaking. Every day, around 90 tonnes of material escapes from our planet's upper atmosphere and streams out into space. Although missions such as ESA's Cluster fleet have long been investigating this leakage, there are still many open questions.
Published: 7 July 2016
With its very first observation, the Hitomi X-ray observatory has discovered that the gas in the Perseus cluster of galaxies is much less turbulent than expected. This is a surprise because the Perseus cluster is home to NGC 1275, a highly energetic active galaxy.
Published: 6 July 2016
ESA's billion-star surveyor Gaia, launched on 19 December 2013, and in routine science operations since 25 July 2014, will release the first mission data on 14 September 2016.
Published: 4 July 2016
Astronomers are using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope to study auroras – stunning light shows in a planet's atmosphere – on the poles of the largest planet in the Solar System, Jupiter. This observation programme is supported by measurements made by NASA's Juno spacecraft, currently on its way to Jupiter.
Published: 30 June 2016
Rosetta is set to complete its mission in a controlled descent to the surface of its comet on 30 September.
Published: 30 June 2016
This new image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows a cosmic tadpole, with its bright head and elongated tail, wriggling through the inky black pool of space. Tadpole galaxies are rare and difficult to find in the local Universe. This striking example, named LEDA 36252, was explored as part of a Hubble study into their mysterious...
Published: 28 June 2016
This Announcement of Opportunity (AO) solicits proposals for the provision of the operations and scientific exploitation of the SPICE instrument on board the Solar Orbiter mission. The AO is open to scientists from the Member States of ESA. Letters of intent are due 20 July, 12:00 CEST (noon), and the deadline for proposals is 26 September,...
Published: 27 June 2016
On Saturday 25 June, the LISA Technology Package – a European payload on ESA's LISA Pathfinder – completes its nominal operations phase, passing the baton to the Disturbance Reduction System, an additional experiment provided by NASA.
Published: 24 June 2016
ESA's Venus Express may have helped to explain the puzzling lack of water on Venus. The planet has a surprisingly strong electric field – the first time this has been measured at any planet – that is sufficient to deplete its upper atmosphere of oxygen, one of the components of water.
Published: 20 June 2016
ESA's LISA Pathfinder mission has demonstrated the technology needed to build a space-based gravitational wave observatory.
Published: 7 June 2016
Astronomers have used Hubble to measure the distances to stars in nineteen galaxies more accurately than previously possible. They found that the Universe is currently expanding faster than the rate derived from measurements of the Universe shortly after the Big Bang.
Published: 2 June 2016
Ingredients regarded as crucial for the origin of life on Earth have been discovered at the comet that ESA's Rosetta spacecraft has been probing for almost two years.
Published: 27 May 2016
A modest 'webcam' on Mars Express has proven useful for outreach, education and citizen-science. Now ESA have decided to adopt it as a professional science instrument.
Published: 25 May 2016
Astrophysicists have taken a major step forward in understanding how supermassive black holes formed. Using data from Hubble and two other space telescopes, Italian researchers have found the best evidence yet for the seeds that ultimately grow into these cosmic giants.
Published: 24 May 2016
Mysterious high-rise clouds seen appearing suddenly in the martian atmosphere on a handful of occasions may be linked to space weather, say Mars Express scientists.
Published: 23 May 2016
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