European Space Agency

The European Space Agency (ESA) is an international organization with 18 member states headquartered in Paris, France with the purpose of combining talent, resources and funds to undertake space programs, study Earth, the Solar System and the Universe. The annual budget for ESA is over $3.5 billion. The primary member states are Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. In addition, Canada, Hungary, Romania operate under a cooperative agreement. Estonia and Slovenia have recently entered into a cooperative agreement.

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Shining a light on the aurora of Mars

ESA's Mars Express has shed new light on the Red Planet's rare ultraviolet aurora by combining for the first time remote observations with in situ measurements of electrons hitting the atmosphere.

dateNov 05, 2015 in Space Exploration
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Image: Spokes in Serpens Core

The interstellar medium fills the 'empty' space between the stars in our galaxy. It is a mix of molecular clouds, cold and warm gases, regions of electrically charged hydrogen, and more.

dateJan 19, 2016 in Astronomy
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Herschel's hunt for filaments in the Milky Way

Observations with ESA's Herschel space observatory have revealed that our Galaxy is threaded with filamentary structures on every length scale. From nearby clouds hosting tangles of filaments a few light-years long to gigantic ...

dateMay 29, 2015 in Astronomy
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Do comet fractures drive surface evolution?

Extreme thermal stresses experienced by a comet as it orbits around the Sun could explain the extensive fracturing thought to drive its long-term surface erosion, say Rosetta scientists analysing high-resolution images of ...

dateAug 21, 2015 in Space Exploration
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Gaia produces stellar density map of the Milky Way

This image, based on housekeeping data from ESA's Gaia satellite, is no ordinary depiction of the heavens. While the image portrays the outline of our Galaxy, the Milky Way, and of its neighbouring Magellanic Clouds, it was ...

dateJul 06, 2015 in Astronomy
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Test your astronaut skills and help ESA

With ESA astronaut Tim Peake stepping out of the International Space Station tomorrow, have you ever wanted to know if you have what it takes to be an astronaut? ESA is offering a trial version of a test developed for future ...

dateJan 19, 2016 in Space Exploration
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Rosetta's big day in the sun

ESA's Rosetta today witnessed Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko making its closest approach to the sun. The exact moment of perihelion occurred at 02:03 GMT this morning when the comet came within 186 million km of the sun.

dateAug 14, 2015 in Space Exploration
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Born-again planetary nebula

Beneath the vivid hues of this eye-shaped cloud, named Abell 78, a tale of stellar life and death is unfolding. At the centre of the nebula, a dying star – not unlike our Sun – which shed its outer layers on its way to ...

dateJul 28, 2015 in Astronomy
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