Welcome to our archive of past news articles.
You will find previous articles listed below
from most the recent back to our first articles in 1996.
The Universe Lights Up on Beethoven's Birthday |
[30 December 1999] - Ludwig van Beethoven would have been impressed. On December 16, the
229th anniversary of the musician's birth, the Universe lit up in
gamma rays that, for a few seconds, outshone the entire sky.
European Space Agency Launches XMM |
[10 December 1999] - In July 1999, NASA launched an extraordinary X-ray telescope named
Chandra. At a distance one-third of the way to the moon, the telescope's
deep, lonely orbit gives it an unimpeded view of distant exploding stars
and clusters of galaxies. Now Chandra has company, a European satellite called XMM that is every bit as impressive.
SWIFT Satellite to Catch the Most Powerful Flashes of Light Known in the Universe |
[26 October 1999] - Once or twice a day, without warning, there are brief flashes of
highly energetic light that momentarily outshine the rest of the
universe. NASA has chosen to develop a mission that will be capable of
capturing information about these unpredictable bursts of gamma-rays.
Discovery of Small X-ray Ring around Crab Pulsar Solves Old Mystery |
[15 October 1999] - Recent images obtained with the Chandra X-ray Observatory have
uncovered part of the secrets of the Crab Nebula by revealing a bright
small ring around its center. Scientists had long searched for the
missing link between the central
pulsar and the nebula
and it would seem that their quest is now over.
Astronomers Find First Direct Evidence Linking Black Holes and Supernovae |
[21 September 1999] - Astronomers believe that black holes are the evolutionary endpoints of
stars at least 10 to 15 times as massive as the Sun. If such a star
undergoes a violent
supernova explosion, the core
of the star it leaves behind may gravitationally collapse in on
itself, creating a
singularity - an entity with
zero volume and infinite
density - a black hole.
Chandra Observatory Launch Lights Up the Night Sky |
[23 July 1999] - X-ray astronomy moved into the 21st century today with the launch of the
Chandra X-ray Observatory (CXO). Shortly before 12:30 a.m. EDT, the Space
Shuttle Columbia blasted off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Under the command of Lt. Colonel Eileen Collins, the shuttle will begin to
deploy CXO later today in their 5 day mission.
Brighter than an Exploding Star, It's a Hypernova! |
[20 May 1999] - In a galaxy not so far away - only 25 million light-years - astronomers
have found what looks like are the remnants of strange celestial explosions
called hypernovae. "Hypernovae are possibly the most powerful explosions in
our Universe since the Big Bang," said Q. Daniel Wang, an astrophysicist at
Northwestern University. Such explosions are more powerful than supernovae,
the spectacular death gasps of stars some 5-10 times more massive than our
Sun. In fact, hypernovae may produce some 100 times more energy than
supernovae. But what are these explosions and what causes them? Astronomers
are not sure at this point. It is hoped that the discovery of these two
suspected hypernova remnants, called MF83 and NGC5471B, located in the
nearby spiral galaxy M101 will allow astrophysicists to infer their true
STS-93 Readies for Lift-Off with Chandra Observatory |
[28 January 1999] - The next Shuttle flight will occur sometime in the Spring of 1999,
and carry in its payload bay NASA's next X-ray astronomy satellite.
The exact date for launch is not yet determined due to a recent
delay, but it will occur no earlier than April 8. This flight will
also be the first time a woman astronaut, US Air Force Colonel
Eileen Collins, will serve as the Flight Commander. STS-93 will
the 94th Space Shuttle flight, and the 26th flight for the orbiter