The Story of Star Formation
Some of Spitzer's most dramatic images are of star formation. Indeed, these gorgeous images are mesmerizing, at least I think so! But they map out a story, making the images much more than just "pretty pictures."
The story of star formation was sketched out, at least for stars of a mass comparable to our Sun, prior to Spitzer's launch. But Spitzer's data have helped flesh out the stages, extend the story to higher and lower masses, and in some cases changed the way we look at various stages of star formation.
I've written a fairly long, somewhat technical "story of star formation", illustrated with many images from Spitzer, artist's conceptions (movies and stills) from our excellent public affairs team, and a few images from Hubble for good measure.
Once you train your eyes to look for these kinds of signatures of star formation, can you find more in other images, say in the images from the Milky Way Project?