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:
Only 541 days into its mission, Spitzer has reached 10,000 science observations. The telescope's Infrared Spectrograph (IRS) captured the milestone observation of nearby spiral galaxy M83 on Feb. 16, 2005 at 9:12:27:02 UTC.
Like a philanthropist donating a prized collection to a museum, NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has opened a virtual vault rich with scientific data. The Spitzer Science Archive now provides astronomers access to the infrared telescope's data well before the mission's one-year anniversary in space.
A NASA observatory will soon open a new window to the universe. By using infrared technology to study celestial objects that are either too cool, too dust-enshrouded or too far away to otherwise be seen, NASA's Space Infrared Telescope Facility will pierce the thick dust that permeates the universe.
The Space Infrared Telescope Facility arrived today at the Kennedy Space Center to begin final preparations for its launch next month aboard a Boeing Delta II rocket. The observatory was shipped to Florida from the Lockheed Martin plant in Sunnyvale, Calif.