NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope is bringing new light -- infrared light -- to the study of our dark and mysterious universe. Some of the observatory's most exciting discoveries will be discussed in free public lectures on Thursday, Dec. 8 and Friday, Dec. 9.
Dr. Michael Werner, project scientist for Spitzer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., will present, "The Spitzer Space Telescope: Exploring the Infrared Universe," at 7 p.m. both days. The Dec. 8 lecture will be held at JPL, while the Dec. 9 event will be at Pasadena City College's Vosloh Forum.
Spitzer, which was launched on August 25, 2003, from Cape Canaveral, Fla., uses infrared, or "heat-sensing" detectors to gaze into space at dusty objects that are difficult to study using visible or other types of light. These objects include everything from comets in our local solar system, to dusty planet-forming disks around stars, to the most distant galaxies.
Stunning images and instructive simulations are included in the lecture and help dramatize the ways in which Spitzer is revolutionizing our understanding of the cosmos.
The telescope is the fourth of NASA's Great Observatories; the others are the Hubble Space Telescope, Chandra X-ray Observatory and Compton Gamma Ray Observatory.
JPL manages the Spitzer mission for NASA. Science operations are conducted at the Spitzer Science Center at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. JPL is a division of Caltech.
Seating for both lectures is first-come, first-served. The Dec. 8 lecture will be in JPL's von Karman Auditorium. JPL is at 4800 Oak Grove Dr., off the Oak Grove Drive exit of the 210 (Foothill) Freeway. The Dec. 9 lecture will be in Pasadena City College's Vosloh Forum, 1570 E. Colorado Blvd. The Dec. 8 lecture will be webcast live and archived later at http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/events/lectures/dec05.cfm. For more information, call (818) 354-0112.