heic0304 — Science Release
26 March 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.
heic0303 — Science Release
12 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 closely, drawn to them like moths to a flame.
heic0302 — Photo Release
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.
heic0301 — Photo Release
heic0212 — Science Release
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.
heic0211 — Science Release
18 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.
heic0210 — Photo Release
12 September 2002: Resembling a delicate rose floating in space, the nebula N11A is seen in a new light in a true-colour image taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. Fierce radiation from massive stars embedded at the centre of N11A illuminates the surrounding gas with a soft fluorescent glow.
heic0209 — Photo Release
18 July 2002: An image taken with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows one of the most unusually long planetary nebulae found so far. Scientists think planetary nebulae hold the key to understanding how the Universe became enriched with heavier elements so they study them intensively. It is not well-understood how a perfectly round star can turn into such an unusual-looking nebula.
heic0208 — Science Release
26 June 2002: Combining data from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT), a group of European and American astronomers have made a major discovery. They have identified a huge number of 'young' stellar clusters, in an old elliptical galaxy. For the first time, it has been possible to identify several distinct periods of star formation in a galaxy as old as this one. Elliptical galaxies have always been considered to have undergone one early star-forming period and thereafter to be devoid of star formation. However, the combination of the best and largest telescopes in space and on the ground has now clearly shown that there is more than meets the eye.
heic0207 — Science Release
heic0206 — Science Release
30 April 2002: Jubilant astronomers today unveiled humankind's most spectacular views of the Universe as captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope's new Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS). They also reported that Hubble is operating superbly since the March servicing mission and are looking forward to more pictures from the newly revived NICMOS camera.
heic0205 — Photo Release
25 March 2002: The disturbed spiral galaxy NGC 7673 is ablaze with the light from millions of new stars. Each of its infant giant blue star clusters shines 100 times as brightly in the ultraviolet as similar immense star clusters in our own Galaxy. Scientists studying this object have two pressing questions: 'What has triggered this enormous burst of star formation and how will this galaxy evolve in the future?'
heic0204 — Science Release
European Faint Object Camera on Hubble sets world record - celebrating the successes of ESA's sharp-sighted camera
7 March 2002: When the new Advanced Camera for Surveys was installed on the ESA/NASA Hubble Space Telescope Thursday noon (European time) it replaced the European Space Agency's Faint Object Camera (FOC). FOC has spent a record-breaking 4340 days (nearly 12 years) in space. Throughout its 12-year lifetime FOC has celebrated a number of successes. Most notable are the first direct image of the atmosphere of a star, the first sighting of surface details on the planet Pluto, and the first image of an 'exposed' black hole.
heic0203 — Science Release
5 March 2002: The power for Hubble's scientific discoveries comes from solar cells. Designing and constructing Hubble's first two sets of solar cell arrays constituted a huge technological achievement for the European Space Agency and European industry. After an in-orbit life of more than 8 years, this example of pioneering space technology was this morning (European time) replaced by new, more powerful arrays.
heic0202 — Science Release
15 February 2002: After nearly 12 years of incredible scientific discoveries, the ESA/NASA Hubble Space Telescope orbiting Earth is about to have another service visit. The purpose is to upgrade Hubble's systems and to install newer and more powerful instruments that will astoundingly increase Hubble's discovery capabilities and extend the longevity of the observatory.
heic0201 — Science Release
13 February 2002: Combining Hubble Space Telescope images with radio observations has revealed a highly unusual system consisting of a fast spinning pulsar and a bloated red companion star. The existence of the system is something of a mystery - the best explanation so far is that we have our first view of a millisecond pulsar just after it has been 'spun up' by its red companion star.
heic0117 — Science Release
Students follow in the footsteps of scientists - ESA/ESO astronomy exercises provide a taste of real astronomy
14 December 2001: The ESA/ESO Astronomy Exercise Series', published today, allows students to gain exciting hands-on experience in astronomy by making realistic calculations with data obtained by the world's best telescopes. The students measure and calculate the distances and ages of astronomical objects, among the most basic problems in modern astrophysics, using observations made by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and ESO's Very Large Telescope.
heic0116 — Science Release
5 December 2001: Astronomers have observed a Dark Matter object directly for the first time. Images and spectra of a MACHO microlens - a nearby dwarf star that gravitationally focuses light from a star in another galaxy - were taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope. The result is a strong confirmation of the theory that a large fraction of Dark Matter exists as small, faint stars in galaxies such as our Milky Way.
heic0115 — Science Release
5 December 2001: A new European initiative called the Astrophysical Virtual Observatory (AVO) is being launched to provide astronomers with a breathtaking potential for new discoveries. It will enable them to seamlessly combine the data from both ground- and space-based telescopes which are making observations of the Universe across the whole range of wavelengths - from high-energy gamma rays through the ultraviolet and visible to the infrared and radio.
heic0114 — Photo Release
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