NASA’s Galaxy Evolution Explorer has beamed back revealing images of
hundreds of galaxies to expectant astronomers, providing the first
batch of data on star formation that they had hoped for.

The recent ultraviolet color images from the orbiting space telescope
were taken between June 7 and June 23, 2003 and are available online
at and .

"The images clearly show active star formation in nearby galaxies, and
large numbers
of distant ultraviolet galaxies undergoing starbursts," said Dr.
Christopher Martin, the mission’s principal investigator and an
astrophysics professor at the California Institute of Technology in
Pasadena, which leads the mission. "This demonstrates that the Galaxy
Evolution Explorer will be a powerful tool for studying star formation
in galaxies near and far."

"These stunning images provide us with valuable information needed to
advance our knowledge of how galaxies, like our own Milky Way, evolve
and transform," said Dr. James Fanson, Galaxy Evolution Explorer
project manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
"Pictures of the ultraviolet sky reveal objects we could never have
seen with visible light alone."

The Galaxy Evolution Explorer launched on April 28, 2003. Its goal is
to map the celestial sky in the ultraviolet and determine the history
of star formation in the universe over the last 10 billion years.

From its orbit high above Earth, the spacecraft will sweep the skies
for up to 28 months using state-of-the-art ultraviolet detectors.
Looking in the ultraviolet singles out galaxies dominated by young,
hot, short-lived stars that give off a great deal energy at that
wavelength. These galaxies are actively creating stars, therefore
providing a window into the history and causes of galactic star

In addition to leading the mission, Caltech is also responsible for
science operations and data analysis. NASA’s Jet Propulsion
Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., a division of Caltech, manages the
mission and led the science instrument development. The mission is
part of NASA’s Explorers Program, managed by the Goddard Space Flight
Center, Greenbelt, Md. The mission’s international partners are France
and South Korea.