Using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have uncovered a cluster of galaxies in the initial stages of development, making it the most distant such grouping ever observed in the early Universe.
New observations indicate that the asteroid Lutetia is a leftover fragment of the same original material that formed the Earth, Venus and Mercury. Astronomers have combined data from ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft, ESO’s New Technology Telescope, and NASA telescopes. They found that the properties of the asteroid closely match those of a rare kind of meteorites found on Earth and thought to have formed in the inner parts of the Solar System. Lutetia must, at some point, have moved out to its current location in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
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The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has been used to make an image of galaxy cluster MACS J1206.2-0847. The apparently distorted shapes of distant galaxies in the background is caused by an invisible substance called dark matter, whose gravity bends and distorts their light rays. MACS 1206 has been observed as part of a new survey of galaxy clusters using Hubble.
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Hubble’s famous images of galaxies typically show elegant spirals or soft-edged ellipses. But these neat forms are only representative of large galaxies. Smaller galaxies like the dwarf irregular galaxy Holmberg II come in many shapes and types that are harder to classify. This galaxy’s indistinct shape is punctuated by huge glowing bubbles of gas, captured in this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.
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Astronomers have combined two decades of Hubble observations to make unprecedented movies revealing never-before-seen details of the birth pangs of new stars. This sheds new light on how stars like the Sun form.
The Andromeda Galaxy is revealed in unprecedented detail in four archive observations from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. They show stars and structure in the galaxy’s disc, the halo of stars that surrounds it, and a stream of stars left by a companion galaxy as it was torn apart and pulled in by the galaxy’s gravitational forces.
This image of a pair of interacting galaxies called Arp 273 was released to celebrate the 21st anniversary of the launch of the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.
The distorted shape of the larger of the two galaxies shows signs of tidal interactions with the smaller of the two. It is thought that the smaller galaxy has actually passed through the larger one.
Hubble was launched April 24, 1990, aboard Discovery’s STS-31 mission. Hubble discoveries revolutionized nearly all areas of current astronomical research from planetary science to cosmology.
Arp 273 Zoom Sequence (Narrated)
Back in April, the European Space Agency (ESA) launched a satellite named CryoSat-2 for the purpose of measuring ice thickness in the Arctic region. Although the satellite is still undergoing checkout and calibration, the first results from CryoSat-2 were released to the participants at the Living Planet Symposium. The symposium is being held in Bergen, Norway this year, from 28 June to 2 July 2010 and organized with the support of the Norwegian Space Centre. Learn more about sea ice thickness and the latest data released by ESA from CryoSat-2 online now here.
The European Space Agency (ESA) today revealed to the public, for the first time, some of the science data coming from the ESA Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) satellite launched in November 2009. As its name implies, the SMOS mission is to “to gather data on moisture in the surface layers of soil and salt in the surface of the oceans.” ESA scientists hope that this will “improve our understanding of the water cycle and help advance weather and climate studies.” Learn more about the SMOS spacecraft and its first science data online now here.