Artwork • January 24th, 2020 • ssc2020-05b
This artist's concept depicts NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope in space much as it would appear to an observer at the end of its mission on January 30, 2020.
On this date, Spitzer is 1.77 times as far away from the Earth as the Earth is from the sun. Since launch, Spitzer has orbited our sun much as the Earth does, though taking slightly longer to complete a revolution. Over time it will continue to drift farther away from us until it eventually is on the opposite side of the sun.
Spitzer has spent over 16 years helping astronomers explore the infrared universe. Its collected data archives will continue to be a valuable resource for decades to come, and will be instrumental in helping astronomers effectively utilize future NASA missions like the James Web Space Telescope (JWST) and the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST).
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