ESA has released the entire database of the International Ultraviolet Explorer for unrestricted access to scientists around the world. The IUE archive contains more than 110,000 spectra from observations that in most cases cannot be replicated. The archive will be available through a special distribution system, INES (IUE Newly Extracted Spectra), either through 17 non-ESA national hosts or directly from the Laboratory for Space Astrophysics and Theoretical Physics in Villafranca, Spain. The IUE, launched 1978 as a cooperative venture by ESA, NASA and the U.K., was the first astronomical satellite to operate in the ultraviolet wavelength. Before it was switched off in September 1996 -14 years later than planned- it has chalked up a number of major findings, including the discovery of the auroras of Jupiter and the halo in the Milky Way, and measurements of a black hole in the core of an active outlying galaxy.

Copyright March 27, 2000 The McGraw-Hill Companies