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11.30.09

Spitzer to Unveil Biggest Milky Way View at Adler Planetarium

In a picture of truly galactic proportions, the world's largest image of our Milky Way galaxy, taken by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, is on display at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago. On Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2009 at 2 p.m. CST, the scientists who created the image and representatives from NASA will present the image to members of the public.

The image spans a mind-boggling area of 120 feet long by 3 feet wide at its sides, bulging to 6 feet at the center of our humongous galaxy. The panorama represents the combined effort of two Spitzer survey teams, who used two of the onboard instruments.

Data from the Spitzer Infrared Array Camera (IRAC) were collected and processed by the Galactic Legacy Infrared Mid-Plane Survey Extraordinaire (GLIMPSE) team, led by Ed Churchwell of the University of Wisconsin, at Madison. The Multiband Imaging Photometer for Spitzer Galactic Plane Survey Legacy (MIPSGAL) team, led by Sean Carey of NASA's Spitzer Science Center at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif., processed observations from Spitzer's Multiband Imaging Photometer.

Following an opening ceremony and photo opportunity, Churchwell and Carey will give short presentations.

More information about the image, including a high resolution downloadable version, is available at  http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/news/279-ssc2008-11.

Adler Planetarium is located at 1300 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Ill., 60605. Phone: 312-922-7827. More information about the Adler Planetarium is at www.adlerplanetarium.org.

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