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:
Testing and characterization activities continue for NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope warm mission, a process that began after the observatory's cryogen ran out on May 15.
Engineers and scientists are continuing with testing and characterization activities for the NASA Spitzer Space Telescope warm mission, a process that began after Spitzer's cryogen ran out on May 15.
Characterization activities for NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope continue, a process that began after its cryogen ran out on May 15.
After more than five-and-a-half years of probing the cool cosmos, NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has run out of the coolant that kept its infrared instruments chilled. The telescope will warm up slightly, yet two of its infrared detector arrays will still operate successfully. The new, warm mission will continue to unveil the far, cold and dusty universe.
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has resumed normal operations after entering standby mode on Friday, Feb. 27, 2009, at 8:41a.m. Pacific Standard Time.
It's official -- "The Hidden Universe" is no longer a secret. The video podcast series from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope Science Center has reached one million downloads!
The National Women's Hall of Fame has selected Dr. Judith Pipher, a Spitzer Space Telescope astronomer, to join its ranks. Pipher is one of nine women to be inducted during a weekend of ceremonies October 6-7, 2007.
Astronomers now have a new "eye" for determining the distance to certain mysterious bodies in and around our Milky Way galaxy. By taking advantage of the unique position of NASA's Spitzer's Space Telescope millions of miles from Earth, and a depth-perceiving trick called parallax, they were able to pin down the most probable location of one such object. The findings will ultimately help astronomers better understand the different components of our galaxy.
Engineers and scientists working on the recovery team brought NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope out of safe mode and restored it to normal mode late Tues., August 29. The observatory's three science instruments were successfully tested, clearing the way for science observations to resume today, Thurs., August 31. This means Spitzer is back on nominal operations.