News archive

News archive

Just before midnight on 2 June 2003 (23:45 local time, 19:45 CEST), a Soyuz rocket operated by Starsem will lift off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, and Mars Express will be on its way. The spacecraft was given the green light to launch following a successful flight readiness review on 3 May 2003.
Published: 5 May 2003
On 25 April 25 1953, James D. Watson and Francis H. Crick published an historic paper in Nature that would change the fate of modern science. They proposed that DNA, the molecule of complex life forms, had the shape of a double helix. Today, scientists from all areas are working together to answer the ultimate question: can life (in any shape or form) exist anywhere else in the Universe?
Published: 1 May 2003
During the morning of 7 May 2003, the planet Mercury will slip across the face of the Sun in a rare event, known as a transit. There are only about 12 celestial alignments like this every century and you cannot view them safely without special telescopic equipment. So, let the ESA/NASA solar watchdog, SOHO, do all the hard work for you...
Published: 1 May 2003
Recent observations with the Hubble Space Telescope suggest that the first stars formed as little as 200 million years after the Big Bang. This is much earlier than previously thought. Astronomers have observed large amounts of iron in the ultraluminous light from very distant, ancient quasars. This iron is the 'ashes' left from supernova explosions in the very first generation of stars.
Published: 30 April 2003
Like the fury of a raging sea, this anniversary image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows a bubbly ocean of glowing hydrogen, oxygen, and sulphur gas in the extremely massive and luminous molecular nebula Messier 17.
Published: 24 April 2003
Constants govern the way our Universe behaves. We regard them as fixed, unchanging quantities. However, how can we be sure that constant really means constant? Modern theories require the values of universal constants to slowly change during the course of cosmic history. Is this the case? ESA is preparing to search for (small) changes in the 'constants of nature'.
Published: 23 April 2003
It is 20 years ago this year that Europe, in collaboration with the United States, launched the first infrared observatory into space. Its infrared powers revealed a secret universe that, to this day, continues to fascinate. The more astronomers look, the better the picture gets...
Published: 16 April 2003
e2v sensors form the largest focal plane CCD mosaic in the world
Published: 8 April 2003
When ESA's Mars Express reaches the Red Planet in December 2003, there will be a drill on board its Beagle 2 lander. This drill will dig into the surface to take samples of the Martian rocks. Who would imagine that the creativity of an enthusiastic dentist is behind a 'cosmic' drill?
Published: 8 April 2003
Titan, Saturn's largest moon, is a mysterious place. Its thick atmosphere is rich in organic compounds. Some of them would be signs of life if they were on our planet. How do they form on Titan? Will they help us to discover how life began on Earth?
Published: 1 April 2003
In January 2002, a moderately dim star in the constellation Monoceros, the Unicorn, suddenly became 600 000 times more luminous than our Sun. This made it temporarily the brightest star in our Milky Way. The light from this eruption created a unique phenomenon known as a 'light echo' when it reflected off dust shells around the star.
Published: 25 March 2003
ESA's Integral satellite is detecting gamma-ray bursts at a rate of nearly one per day, establishing itself as a key player in the hunt for these enigmatic explosions.
Published: 23 March 2003
Following the decision not to launch Europe's comet chaser, Rosetta, in January 2003, scientists and engineers in the programme have been examining several alternative mission scenarios.
Published: 20 March 2003
The European Space Agency will present its SMART-1 lunar mission to the press on 3 April 2003. The event will take place at the European Space Technology Research Centre (ESTEC), Noordwijk, The Netherlands and will place the mission in its correct scientific, technological and European framework.
Published: 18 March 2003
Between 18-23 March 2003, scientists across Europe and the world will be meeting the public to explain the newest theories about the way in which the Sun connects to and affects life on Earth. Do not miss this opportunity to make a connection of your own, find out how to participate in the Sun-Earth days of 2003...
Published: 13 March 2003
Using the Hubble Space Telescope, for the first time, astronomers have observed the atmosphere of an extrasolar planet evaporating off into space. Much of this planet may eventually disappear, leaving only a dense core. The planet is a type of extrasolar planet known as a 'hot Jupiter'. These giant, gaseous planets orbit their stars very...
Published: 11 March 2003
Using the Hubble Space Telescope, for the first time, astronomers have observed the atmosphere of an extrasolar planet boiling off into space. Much of this planet may eventually disappear, leaving only a dense core. The planet is an example of a type of exoplanet known as a 'hot Jupiter'. These giant, gaseous planets orbit their stars very closely, drawn to them like moths to a flame.
Published: 11 March 2003
AnnouncementThe International Space Science Institute (ISSI) invites proposals from International Teams to carry out research projects in space science in Bern, Switzerland. These projects include fundamental physics and comparative planetology and should be based on the analysis and evaluation of existing data from several spacecraft and eventual integration with ground observations and theoretical models.
Published: 6 March 2003
The central region of the small galaxy NGC 1705 blazes with the light of thousands of young and old stars. Astronomers call NGC 1705 a dwarf irregular, that is, a small galaxy lacking regular structure. Knowing how dwarf irregular galaxies evolve tells us a lot about galaxy formation and evolution.
Published: 5 March 2003
It must be one of the oldest questions. When you gaze at the sky, you marvel at its immensity. Have you ever, at some stage of your life, looked up into the night sky and wondered just how many stars there are in space? The question has fascinated scientists as well as philosophers, musicians, and dreamers through the ages.
Published: 27 February 2003
7-May-2021 21:38 UT

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