NASA's Galaxy Evolution explorer in standby mode

February 8, 2012
The Galaxy Evolution Explorer was launched on April 28, 2003. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

(PhysOrg.com) -- NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer, or Galex, was placed in standby mode today as engineers prepare to end mission operations, nearly nine years after the telescope's launch. The spacecraft is scheduled to be decommissioned -- taken out of service -- later this year. The mission extensively mapped large portions of the sky with sharp ultraviolet vision, cataloguing millions of galaxies spanning 10 billion years of cosmic time.

The launched into space from a Pegasus XL rocket in April of 2003. Since completing its prime mission in the fall of 2007, the mission was extended to continue its census of .

The mission's science highlights include the discovery of a gigantic comet-like tail behind a speeding star, rings of new stars around old galaxies, and "teenager" galaxies, which help to explain how galaxies evolve. The observatory also helped confirm the existence of the mysterious substance or force known as , and even caught a black hole devouring a star.

Explore further: New stars from old gas surprise astronomers

Related Stories

New stars from old gas surprise astronomers

February 18, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Evidence of star birth within a cloud of primordial gas has given astronomers a glimpse of a previously unknown mode of galaxy formation. The cloud, known as the Leo Ring, appears to lack the dark matter ...

Space Telescope Moves on with One Detector

April 13, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Mission engineers and scientists with NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer, a space telescope that has been beaming back pictures of galaxies for three times its design lifespan, are no longer planning science ...

Giant ultraviolet rings found in resurrected galaxies

August 11, 2010

Astronomers have found mysterious, giant loops of ultraviolet light in aged, massive galaxies, which seem to have a second lease on life. Somehow these "over-the-hill galaxies" have been infused with fresh gas to form new ...

WISE mission offers a taste of galaxies to come

May 25, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- An assorted mix of colorful galaxies is being released today by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer mission, or WISE. The nine galaxies are a taste of what's to come. The mission plans to release similar ...

Recommended for you

At Saturn, one of these rings is not like the others

September 2, 2015

When the sun set on Saturn's rings in August 2009, scientists on NASA's Cassini mission were watching closely. It was the equinox—one of two times in the Saturnian year when the sun illuminates the planet's enormous ring ...

New Horizons team selects potential Kuiper Belt flyby target

August 29, 2015

NASA has selected the potential next destination for the New Horizons mission to visit after its historic July 14 flyby of the Pluto system. The destination is a small Kuiper Belt object (KBO) known as 2014 MU69 that orbits ...

Prawn Nebula: Cosmic recycling

September 2, 2015

Dominating this image is part of the nebula Gum 56, illuminated by the hot bright young stars that were born within it. For millions of years stars have been created out of the gas in this nebula, material which is later ...

Image: Hubble sees a youthful cluster

August 31, 2015

Shown here in a new image taken with the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) on board the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope is the globular cluster NGC 1783. This is one of the biggest globular clusters in the Large Magellanic ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

StarGazer2011
1 / 5 (1) Feb 08, 2012
race you to it! 3-2-1-GO! Got a pic GEvoE? Launch another one for less than a bankers bonus bailout?!

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.