heic0313 — Science Release
31 December 2003: Studies of two distant galaxy clusters using a combination of the largest radio, optical and x-ray telescopes on the ground and in space have independently found that galaxies formed relatively early in the history of the Universe. The two galaxy clusters studied are respectively the most distant proto-cluster ever found and the most massive known galaxy cluster for its epoch.
heic0312 — Science Release
heic0311 — Photo Release
24 September 2003: A team of European astronomers is using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope to look back in time. They have imaged the spiral galaxy NGC 3982 and hundreds of other galaxies in the hope that one of the millions of stars in these images will some day explode as a supernova. They can then look back and pinpoint the exact star that has exploded. Only two such supernova 'mother stars' have ever been identified.
heic0310 — Science Release
5 September 2003: Results from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope played a major role in preparing ESA's ambitious Rosetta mission for its new target, comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Hubble has been the critical tool in measuring precisely the size, shape and rotational period of the comet. Information that is essential if Rosetta is to rendezvous with a comet and then drop down a probe, something never before attempted and yet a major step to elucidating solar system origins.
heic0309 — Science Release
17 July 2003: Using the powerful trick of gravitational lensing, a European and American team of astronomers have constructed an extensive 'mass map' of one of the most massive structures in our Universe. They believe that it will lead to a better understanding of how such systems assembled and the key role of dark matter.
heic0308 — Photo Release
heic0307 — Photo Release
heic0306 — Science Release
30 April 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.
heic0305 — Photo Release
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
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