heic0414 — Photo Release
9 September 2004: A new study of a large number of planetary nebulae has revealed that rings, such as those seen here around the Cat's Eye Nebula, are much more common that thought so far and have been found in at least one third of all planetary nebulae. Although the rings may be the key to explaining the final agonized 'gasp' of the dying central star, the mystery behind the Cat's Eye nebula's nested Russian doll structure remains largely unsolved.
heic0413 — Photo Release
heic0412 — Science Release
8 July 2004: For many years astronomical images from the world's telescopes were reserved for an elite of astronomers and technical people. Now anyone with a desktop computer running Adobe" Photoshop" software can try their hand at crafting astronomical images as beautiful as those from the Hubble Space Telescope. A free software plug-in, released today, makes a treasure trove of archival astronomical images and spectra from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope, the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton X-ray observatory, NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and many other famous telescopes accessible to home astronomy enthusiasts.
heic0411 — Photo Release
1 July 2004: The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope captures the iridescent tapestry of star birth in a neighbouring galaxy in this panoramic view of glowing gas, dark dust clouds, and young, hot stars. The star-forming region, catalogued as N11B lies in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), located only 160,000 light-years from Earth. With its high resolution, the Hubble Space Telescope is able to view details of star formation in the LMC as easily as ground-based telescopes are able to observe stellar formation within our own Milky Way galaxy.
heic0410 — Science Release
15 June 2004: An international team of astronomers using the world's biggest telescopes have directly measured the mass of an ultra-cool brown dwarf star and its companion dwarf star for the first time. Barely the size of the planet Jupiter, the dwarf star weighs in at just 8.5 percent of the mass of our Sun. This is the first ever mass measurement of a dwarf star belonging to a new stellar class of very low mass ultra-cool dwarf stars. The observation is a major step towards our understanding of the types of objects that occupy the gap between the lightest stars and the heaviest planets.
heic0409 — Science Release
28 May 2004: A European team has used the Astrophysical Virtual Observatory (AVO) to find 30 supermassive black holes that had previously escaped detection behind masking dust clouds. The identification of this large population of long-sought 'hidden' black holes is the first scientific discovery to emerge from a Virtual Observatory. The result suggests that astronomers may have underestimated the number of powerful supermassive black holes by as much as a factor of five.
heic0408 — Photo Release
heic0407 — Photo Release
heic0406 — Science Release
9 March 2004: Astronomers today unveiled the deepest portrait of the visible Universe ever achieved by humankind. Called the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (HUDF), the million-second-long exposure reveals the first galaxies to emerge from the so-called "dark ages", the time shortly after the big bang when the first stars reheated the cold, dark Universe. The new image should offer new insights into what types of objects reheated the Universe long ago.
heic0405 — Photo Release
4 March 2004: Starry Night", Vincent van Gogh's famous painting, is renowned for its bold whorls of light sweeping across a raging night sky. Although this image of the heavens came only from the artist's restless imagination, a new picture from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope bears remarkable similarities to the van Gogh work, complete with never-before-seen spirals of dust swirling across trillions of kilometres of interstellar space.
heic0404 — Science Release
15 February 2004: An international team of astronomers may have set a new record in discovering what is the most distant known galaxy in the Universe. Located an estimated 13 billion light-years away, the object is being viewed at a time only 750 million years after the big bang, when the Universe was barely 5 percent of its current age.
heic0402 — Photo Release
3 February 2004: The nearby dwarf galaxy NGC 1569 is a hotbed of vigorous star birth activity which blows huge bubbles and super-bubbles that riddle the main body of the galaxy. The galaxy's vigorous 'star factories' are also manufacturing brilliant blue star clusters. This galaxy had a sudden and relatively recent onset of star birth 25 million years ago, which subsided about the time the very earliest human ancestors appeared on Earth.
heic0403 — Science Release
2 February 2004: The well-known extrasolar planet HD 209458b, provisionally nicknamed Osiris, has surprised astronomers again. Oxygen and carbon have been found in its atmosphere, evaporating at such an immense rate that the existence of a new class of extrasolar planets - 'the chthonian planets' or 'dead' cores of completely evaporated gas giants - has been proposed.
heic0401 — Science Release
7 January 2004: A joint European/University of Hawaii team of astronomers has for the first time observed a stellar 'survivor' to emerge from a double star system involving an exploded supernova. Supernovae are some of the most significant sources of chemical elements in the Universe, and they are at the heart of our understanding of the evolution of galaxies.
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
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