ESA Science & Technology - News Archive
As the closest planet to Earth, Venus is a relatively easy object to observe. However, many mysteries remain, not least the super-rotation of Venus' atmosphere, which enables high altitude winds to circle the planet in only four days. Now images of cloud features sent back by ESA's Venus Express orbiter have revealed that these remarkably rapid...
Published: 18 June 2013
A survey from Herschel has revealed that the reservoir of molecular gas in the Milky Way is hugely underestimated - almost by one third - when it is traced with traditional methods. The discovery not only indicates that there is more raw material for the formation of new stars in the Galaxy, but also that it extends farther than astronomers knew.
Published: 11 June 2013
The module carrying the telescope and scientific instruments of ESA's Euclid 'dark Universe' mission is now being developed by Astrium in Toulouse, France.
Published: 11 June 2013
Scientists have confirmed the presence of PAHs - Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons - in the upper atmosphere of Saturn's largest moon, Titan. After forming, PAHs grow into larger aggregates that drift down, eventually giving rise to aerosol particles in the haze layer that blankets Titan's surface. The study is based on data from the Cassini...
Published: 5 June 2013
New global maps of Mars released on the 10th anniversary of the launch of ESA's Mars Express trace the history of water and volcanic activity on the Red Planet, and identify sites of special interest for the next generation of Mars explorers.
Published: 3 June 2013
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has produced the most detailed observations ever of the Ring Nebula (Messier 57). This image reveals intricate structure only hinted at in previous observations, and has allowed scientists to construct a model of the nebula in 3D - showing the true shape of this striking object.
Published: 23 May 2013
Astronomers have found a rare encounter between two massive and gas-rich galaxies in a survey from Herschel. The event took place when the Universe was only about three billion years old and involved two galaxies forming stars with exceptional efficiency whilst in the process of merging. This galactic collision would go on to form a very massive...
Published: 22 May 2013
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has found signs of Earth-like planets in an unlikely place: the atmospheres of a pair of burnt-out stars in a nearby star cluster. The white dwarf stars are being polluted by debris from asteroid-like objects falling onto them. This discovery suggests that rocky planet assembly is common in clusters, say...
Published: 9 May 2013
Observing the Galactic Centre with Herschel, astronomers have detected molecular gas at surprisingly high temperatures - up to 1000 K. The molecules are probably heated up by shocks as gas surges towards Sagittarius A*, the region harbouring the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way.
Published: 7 May 2013
For the first time, scientists have resolved the detailed structure of the core region where magnetic reconnection takes place in the magnetosphere of Earth using unprecedented wave measurements. The study, based on data from ESA's Cluster mission, has mapped different types of electrostatic waves in this region. The waves trace populations of...
Published: 2 May 2013
The Netherlands, Poland, and Romania have all become Participating States in PRODEX. The declarations were signed on 21 November, 2012, following the ESA Council at Ministerial Level, opening the door for all three countries to become involved in projects through the PRODEX office.
Published: 1 May 2013
The Herschel space observatory has exhausted its supply of liquid helium, after more than three years of observations and revelations about how galaxies, stars, and planets form and evolve. Ground-breaking discoveries are in store for years to come.
Published: 29 April 2013
Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have shown for the first time that bursts of star formation have a major impact far beyond the boundaries of their host galaxy.
Published: 25 April 2013
Herschel has yielded proof that almost all the water in Jupiter's stratosphere was delivered by comet Shoemaker-Levy 9, which impacted the planet in 1994. The new Herschel map shows more water in Jupiter's southern hemisphere, where the impacts occurred, than in the north.
Published: 23 April 2013
The "PLATO 2.0 Science Workshop" will be held at ESA-ESTEC, Noordwijk, on 29-31 July, 2013. The workshop is open to the interested community and will examine the impact that PLATO will make on all areas of exoplanet, stellar, and legacy science areas.
Published: 19 April 2013
To celebrate its 23rd year in orbit, the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has released a stunning new image of one of the most distinctive objects in our skies: the Horsehead Nebula.
Published: 19 April 2013
ESA's Herschel space observatory has discovered an extremely distant galaxy making stars more than 2000 times faster than our own Milky Way. Seen at a time when the Universe was less than a billion years old, its mere existence challenges our theories of galaxy evolution.
Published: 17 April 2013
A new study has revealed that bursty bulk flows - fast streams of plasma launched towards Earth during magnetic substorms - are more important than previously thought and can carry one third of the total energy that brightens aurorae.
Published: 10 April 2013
ESA's Herschel space observatory has provided the first images of a dust belt - produced by colliding comets or asteroids - orbiting a subgiant star known to host a planetary system.
Published: 9 April 2013
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has broken the record in the quest to find the furthest supernova of the type used to measure cosmic distances. This supernova exploded more than 10 billion years ago (redshift 1.914), at a time the Universe was in its early formative years and stars were being born at a rapid rate.
Published: 4 April 2013
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