European Space Agency News

Rosetta Spacecraft Reveals Hidden Crater on Asteroid Lutetia

October 8, 2014

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Asteroid Lutetia

Images by ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft reveal the existence of a large impact crater on the unseen side of the Lutetia asteroid. Rosetta flew past Lutetia at a distance of 3168 km in July 2010, en route to its 2014 rendezvous with its target comet. The spacecraft took images of the 100 km-wide asteroid for about […]

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Satellites Reveal Dip in Gravity from West Antarctica Ice Loss

October 1, 2014

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West Antarctica Ice Loss Dips Gravity

The animation, based on measurements from ESA’s GOCE satellite and the NASA–German Grace mission, shows that ice lost from West Antarctica has caused a dip in Earth’s gravity. GOCE was not designed to show changes in gravity over time. However, high-resolution gravity gradients that GOCE measured over Antarctica between November 2009 and June 2012 were […]

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Rosetta Orbiter Delivers First Batch of Science Data

September 8, 2014

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Rosetta Orbiter Delivers of Science Data from Comet 67P

European Space Agency’s Rosetta orbiter has delivered its first batch of science data from comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, revealing hydrogen and oxygen in the comet’s atmosphere and showing that the color of the comet is darker than charcoal. The instrument, named Alice, began mapping the comet’s surface last month, recording the first far-ultraviolet light spectra of the […]

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Proof That White Dwarfs Can Reignite and Explode as Supernovae

August 28, 2014

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Astronomers Find Proof that Type Ia Supernova is Caused by a White Dwarf Star Reigniting and Exploding

New research shows without a doubt that white dwarf stars can reignite and explode as supernovae. Astronomers using ESA’s Integral gamma-ray observatory have demonstrated beyond doubt that dead stars known as white dwarfs can reignite and explode as supernovae. The finding came after the unique signature of gamma rays from the radioactive elements created in […]

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ESA Identifies Five Candidate Landing Sites on Comet 67P

August 25, 2014

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Five Candidate Landing Sites on Comet 67P

Rosetta Spacecraft data have allowed scientists to identify five candidate sites to set down the Philae lander on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in November. Using detailed information collected by ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft during its first two weeks at Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, five locations have been identified as candidate sites to set down the Philae lander in November – […]

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New ESA Image of Craters within the Hellas Basin on Mars

August 18, 2014

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New Image of the Craters within the Hellas Basin of Mars

This newly released Mars Express image shows craters within the Hellas Basin in the southern highlands of Mars. Scarring the southern highlands of Mars is one of the Solar System’s largest impact basins: Hellas, with a diameter of 2300 km and a depth of over 7 km. Hellas is thought to have formed between 3.8 […]

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Rosetta Becomes the First Spacecraft to Rendezvous with a Comet

August 7, 2014

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Rosetta Becomes the First Spacecraft to Rendezvous with a Comet

ESA’s Rosetta became the first spacecraft to rendezvous with a comet, making the historic rendezvous with comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on August 6, 2014. After a decade-long journey chasing its target, the European Space Agency’s Rosetta, carrying three NASA instruments, became the first spacecraft to rendezvous with a comet. The last of a series of 10 rendezvous […]

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Newly Released Herschel Image of Spiral Galaxy M33

July 28, 2014

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Herschel Views Spiral Galaxy M33

This newly released image from ESA’s Herschel Space Observatory shows the Triangulum Galaxy, which is home to some forty billion stars and is located three million light-years away. The spiral galaxy M33, also known as the Triangulum Galaxy, is one of our closest cosmic neighbours, just three million light-years away. Home to some forty billion […]

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Herschel Discovers Evidence That Could Solve a Puzzling Meteorite Mystery

July 3, 2014

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Herschel Discovers Evidence That Could Solve a Puzzling Meteorite Mystery

Using the Herschel Space Observatory to probe the turbulent beginnings of a Sun-like star, astronomers have discovered evidence of mighty stellar winds that could solve a puzzling meteorite mystery. In spite of their tranquil appearance in the night sky, stars are scorching furnaces that spring to life through tumultuous processes – and our 4.5 billion-year-old […]

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Astronomers Discover Water-Building Molecule in Planetary Nebulas

June 18, 2014

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Astronomers Discover Water Building Molecule in Helix Nebula

Using the Hubble Space Telescope and ESA’s Herschel Space Observatory, astronomers have discovered a water-building molecule in three planetary nebulas. Using ESA’s Herschel Space Oobservatory, astronomers have discovered that a molecule vital for creating water exists in the burning embers of dying Sun-like stars. When low- to middleweight stars like our Sun approach the end […]

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Astronomers View Pulsar Encased in Supernova Bubble

June 2, 2014

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ESA Views Pulsar Encased in Supernova Bubble

This XMM-Newton image reveals a strongly magnetized, rotating neutron star and the remains of the explosion that generated it. Massive stars end their lives with a bang: exploding as spectacular supernovas, they release huge amounts of mass and energy into space. These explosions sweep up any surrounding material, creating bubble remnants that expand into interstellar […]

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ESA Probes the Mysterious Tumbling Death of Satellites

May 29, 2014

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ESA Probes the Mysterious Tumbling Death of Satellites

ESA’s Clean Space initiative is seeking to transform our understanding of how large, dead objects behave in space and is exploring why derelict satellites can tumble in unpredictable ways. Down on the ground, death equals stillness – but not in space. Derelict satellites can tumble in unpredictable ways and ESA’s team tasked with developing a […]

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