NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope was launched on August 25, 2003 from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Base. Drifting in a unique Earth-trailing orbit around the Sun, Spitzer saw an optically invisible universe dominated by dust and stars.
For years, astronomers have tried to place telescopes above atmosphere, to catch a glimpse of an otherwise hidden infrared universe. This section explores the heritage of infrared astronomy, which culminates with NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, the most sensitive infrared space observatory ever launched. Learn about infrared astronomy's:
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope is a technological marvel, featuring many innovations never before used on a space mission. It may seem like a contradiction, but Spitzer needs to be simultaneously "cold" and "warm" to function properly. Learn how Spitzer achieves this balance with the:
The Universe is continually radiating a wealth of information to Earth, sending signals in a wide-spectrum of light. However, not all of these messages reach the ground. In space, any object that has a temperature above zero Kelvin (- 459.67 degrees Fahrenheit, or -273.15 degrees Celsius) radiates in the infrared. Learn how NASA's infrared Spitzer Space Telescope contributes to the study of:
A new study using archival observations by the now-retired Spitzer Space Telescope found a common trait among distant worlds where the exotic clouds form.
A new virtual reality experience lets users get a taste of what it's like to explore the cosmos with the Spitzer Space Telescope, one of NASA's four Great Observatories.
NASA will host a live program at 1 p.m. EST Wednesday, Jan. 22, to celebrate the far-reaching legacy of the agency’s Spitzer Space Telescope – a mission that, after 16 years of amazing discoveries, soon will come to an end.
The Spitzer Space Telescope is one of NASA's Great Observatories, designed to observe the universe in infrared light. It was launched in 2003 with an expected lifetime of 5 years. Spitzer has succeeded beyond our wildest expectations, now routinely observing transiting exoplanets and other interesting astronomical phenomena in its 15th year of operations.
NASA is seeking information from U.S. parties interested in operating the Spitzer Space Telescope with non-NASA funding after March 2019, when NASA financial support ends.
NASA has approved the continued operation of the Spitzer mission through the commissioning phase of the James Webb Space Telescope in early 2019 as part of the 2016 Astrophysics Senior Review process.
Engineers and scientists have been busy recovering the Spitzer Space Telescope from standby mode since it experienced an anomaly on Nov. 26, 2015. On Dec. 14, they successfully turned on the telescope's primary instrument, the infrared array camera, or IRAC.
On Nov. 26, NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope entered into a standby mode while executing regular calibration observations. This mode is triggered by the spacecraft's fault protection system when an anomaly occurs. It puts Spitzer in a standby configuration until further instructions from the ground are received.
Relive the highlights of NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope mission with a new digital calendar.