Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

September 29, 1995

The International Ultraviolet Explorer
Credit: NASA/ Goddard Space Flight Centre (GSFC)

Explanation: The International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) was launched by a NASA Delta rocket in 1978 to provide a space telescope for ultraviolet astronomy. A collaborative project among NASA, ESA and the British SRC (now PPARC) agencies, IUE's estimated lifetime was 3 to 5 years. Amazingly, 17 years and 8 months later, it continues to operate, having made over 100,000 observations of comets, planets, stars, novae, supernovae, galaxies, and quasars. The IUE story is a truly remarkable but little known success story which will continue. To reduce costs, on September 30, 1995, the IUE team at GSFC will turn over its science operations to the ESA ground station in Villafranca, Spain where the ESA/PPARC teams will continue to make astronomical observations. Congratulations to the GSFC team for outstanding service to astronomy. Good luck to IUE and best wishes for continued success!

Tomorrow's picture: An Energetic Radio Galaxy

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
&: Michigan Tech. U.