News archive

News archive

Our Sun has large features that move across its surface as it rotates. Scientists call them 'supergranules'. Thanks to data from the SOHO spacecraft, scientists believe they have found out why supergranules move faster than the Sun rotates. They do not move faster at all. The apparent rapid rotation is an illusion generated by a pattern of waves, like spectators doing the wave at a sporting event.
Published: 5 January 2003
The Cluster quartet of spacecraft allows, for the first time, to unambiguously determine the characteristics of the tail current sheet in the Earth's magnetosphere.
Published: 29 December 2002
ESA's gamma-ray satellite, Integral, is fully operational. Today Integral's first ground-breaking images of the high-energy Universe were presented in Paris, France. Astronomers call such initial observations 'first light'.
Published: 17 December 2002
Just as motor vehicles need fuelling before long journeys, so spacecraft require full tanks before they set off to visit other worlds. But whereas a typical car may carry 40 or 50 litres of petrol and then be refuelled after travelling a few hundred kilometres, there are no filling stations in space.
Published: 17 December 2002
Imagine you are an astronomer with instant, fingertip access to all existing observations of a given object and the opportunity to sift through them at will. In just a few moments, you can have information on all kinds about objects out of catalogues all over the world, including observations taken at different times.
Published: 16 December 2002
Announcement of Opportunity for the selection of Co-Investigators for the PFS and VIRTIS experiments to be flown on the Venus Express mission.
Published: 12 December 2002
Integral, the European Space Agency's gamma-ray satellite, has taken its first images and collected its first scientific data. These 'first-light' images confirm that Integral is working superbly. Everyone involved with the project is highly satisfied with its performance so far.
Published: 10 December 2002
The Mars Express prime contractor and the Mars Express ESA Project Manager have agreed the final delivery date for the Beagle 2 Mars lander with the Beagle team.
Published: 9 December 2002
What have a comet-chasing spacecraft, a 2200-year-old volcanic rock and a global language archive got in common? The answer: not only are all of themnamed 'Rosetta', but all three offer a bridge through time, creating anenduring link across the millennia.
Published: 3 December 2002
On 4 December 2002, the Moon will pass in front of our Sun, giving us a total solar eclipse. A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon comes between the Sun and the observer. This happens when the shadow cone of the Moon intersects the surface of the Earth, and is observable by anyone within this shadow zone.
Published: 3 December 2002
When more data can mean more fun
Published: 3 December 2002
Tomorrow's spacecraft will be capable of generating more data than they can transmit to Earth. In some cases, this could be more data than can even be comfortably handled by today's computational methods. What benefits are there for us in this flood of data?
Published: 2 December 2002
What kind of mysteries and scientific intrigue await the European Space Agency's Venus Express once it has left Earth for its nearest planetary neighbour in 2005? A closer inspection promises to reveal a planet that is hugely different from our own despite a few similarities.
Published: 27 November 2002
The Ferrari Red Paint will not be the only thing breaking all speed records when it hurtles towards the Red Planet on-board the Mars Express spacecraft in 2003. The spacecraft itself has already broken some speed records of its own. Mars Express is the fastest-built satellite of its type in the history of space engineering.
Published: 21 November 2002
With less than two months to launch, ESA's Rosetta comet chaser is undergoing final preparations at Kourou spaceport in French Guiana. Confidence is high after the green light was given by the Rosetta Mission Flight Readiness Review Board on 13 November 2002.
Published: 20 November 2002
A nearby black hole, hurtling like a cannonball through the plane of our Milky Way, has provided possibly the best evidence yet that stellar-mass black holes are made in supernova explosions. This black hole is streaking across space at a rate of 400 000 kilometres per hour - 4 times faster than the average velocity of the stars in the galactic neighbourhood. What has made it move so fast? The most likely 'cannon' is the explosive kick of a supernova, one of the Universe's most titanic events.
Published: 17 November 2002
A full moon at night is a joyful sight. As you gaze skywards tonight, however, the Moon is going to look even more interesting than usual. Have a look and see for yourself! Tonight there will be a so-called penumbral eclipse, as the Moon slips into the Earth's shadow. Although not as dramatic as a total eclipse of the Moon, tonight's eclipse will be the clearest that we will see this year. It will be visible from Europe at 02:46 CET.
Published: 17 November 2002
Night owls across Europe, get ready. On the night of 18-19 November 2002, you may see a spectacular sky show. As tiny particles in Comet 55/P Tempel-Tuttle's tail enter Earth's atmosphere, they will pierce through it, heating up, and finally explode. Welcome to one of the most spectacular natural fireworks displays of the year: a meteor shower called the Leonids.
Published: 13 November 2002
To get around, satellites sailing through space use the same tools that ancient mariners used to navigate the inhospitable oceans - the stars. ESA's SMART-1 mission will test special software that will soon allow spacecraft to calculate and adjust their course all by themselves.
Published: 11 November 2002
A fraction of a second after the Big Bang, all the primordial soup of matter in the Universe was 'broken' into its most fundamental constituents. It was thought to have disappeared forever. However scientists strongly suspect that the exotic soup of dissolved matter can still be found in today's Universe, in the core of certain very dense objects called neutron stars.
Published: 5 November 2002
20-Sep-2021 12:01 UT

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