Wednesday, August 05, 2009

NASA's Spitzer Sees the Cosmos Through 'Warm' Infrared Eyes

NASA's Spitzer Sees the Cosmos Through 'Warm' Infrared Eyes (8/5/09)
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope is starting a second career and taking its first shots of the cosmos since warming up.

The infrared telescope ran out of coolant May 15, 2009, more than five-and-a-half-years after launch. It has since warmed to a still-frosty 30 degrees Kelvin (about minus 406 degrees Fahrenheit).

New images taken with two of Spitzer's infrared detector channels — two that work at the new, warmer temperature — demonstrate the observatory remains a powerful tool for probing the dusty universe. The images show a bustling star-forming region, the remains of a star similar to the sun, and a swirling galaxy lined with stars. ...

The first of three images shows a cloud bursting with stars in the Cygnus region of our Milky Way galaxy. Spitzer's infrared eyes peer through and see dust, revealing young stars tucked in dusty nests.




Cygnus region – click for 750×663 image

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