Astronomy & Space Science News :
|#5: JUICE begins to take shape
The assembly of the flight model of ESA's JUICE spacecraft began in September, with the delivery of the spacecraft's primary structure, followed by integration of the propulsion system that will enable the mission to reach and study Jupiter and its moons.
Solar Orbiter ready to depart Europe
ESA's Solar Orbiter mission has completed its test campaign in Europe and is now being packed ready for its journey to Cape Canaveral at the end of this month, ahead of launch in February 2020.
Hubble observes new interstellar visitor [heic1918]
On 12 October 2019, the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope provided astronomers with their best look yet at an interstellar visitor – Comet 2I/Borisov – which is believed to have arrived here from another planetary system elsewhere in our galaxy.
#1: Euclid completes thermal-vacuum balance tests
This is the first entry in the Euclid Test Campaign Journal, a series of articles covering the main events during testing of the Structural and Thermal Model (STM) and Flight Model (FM) of the spacecraft. The mission, scheduled for launch in 2022, will map the geometry of the Universe and improve our understanding of the mysterious dark matter and dark energy that make up most of the energy budget of the cosmos.
Exoplanet and cosmology discoveries awarded Nobel Prize in Physics
ESA congratulates 2019 Nobel Prize in Physics laureates Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz, who have been awarded the prestigious prize for the first discovery of an exoplanet orbiting a solar-type star, and James Peebles, honoured for the theoretical framework of cosmology used to investigate the Universe on its largest scales.
Cassini finds soluble organic compounds in ocean-world Enceladus
Scientists analysing archival data from the international Cassini mission have found evidence of light, soluble and reactive organic molecules in the ice grains ejected by Saturn's icy moon Enceladus. The study indicates that this moon's underground ocean contains the precursors of complex organic compounds like amino acids – the building blocks of life as we know it on Earth.
Explore the variable sources in Hubble's sky
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has produced a new resource for astronomers: the Hubble Catalog of Variables (HCV), which is the first full, homogeneous catalogue of variable sources based on archival data from the iconic observatory.
#5: Electric and magnetic fields under control for Solar Orbiter
An important stage in the development of ESA's Solar Orbiter mission was completed between May and June, when a series of tests to validate the electromagnetic compatibility and magnetic properties was carried out on the spacecraft's flight model.
Comet's collapsing cliffs and bouncing boulders
Scientists analysing the treasure trove of images taken by ESA's Rosetta mission have turned up more evidence for curious bouncing boulders and dramatic cliff collapses.
Mysteriously in-sync pulsar challenges existing theories
For the first time, astronomers have detected synchronised pulses of optical and X-ray radiation from a mysterious pulsar some 4500 light years away. The observations indicate that a new physical mechanism might be needed to explain the behaviour of fast-spinning sources like this one, known as transitional millisecond pulsars.