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Latest Spitzer Space Telescope Stories

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2011-05-26 11:00:00

Tiny crystals of a green mineral called olivine are falling down like rain on a burgeoning star, according to observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. This is the first time such crystals have been observed in the dusty clouds of gas that collapse around forming stars. Astronomers are still debating how the crystals got there, but the most likely culprits are jets of gas blasting away from the embryonic star. "You need temperatures as hot as lava to make these crystals," said Tom...

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2011-04-14 07:50:00

Like looking for Easter eggs in a lawn of long grass, the hunt for the Milky Way's most massive stars takes persistence and sharp eyes. In their stellar search through our Galactic backyard, astronomers have used powerful telescopes sensitive to X-ray and infrared radiation to find evidence for a substantial population of X-ray emitting massive stars. This image shows infrared data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope near the plane of the Milky Way galaxy. Both outlined boxes contain an...

2011-04-12 08:27:00

WASHINGTON, April 12, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Astronomers have uncovered one of the youngest galaxies in the distant universe, with stars that formed 13.5 billion years ago, a mere 200 million years after the big bang. The finding addresses questions about when the first galaxies arose, and how the early universe evolved. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) NASA's Hubble Space Telescope was the first to spot the newfound galaxy. Detailed observations from...

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2011-04-05 08:20:00

Astronomers have discovered that two symmetrical jets shooting away from opposite sides of a blossoming star are experiencing a time delay: knots of gas and dust from one jet blast off four-and-a-half years later than identical knots from the other jet. The finding, which required the infrared vision of NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, is helping astronomers understand how jets are produced around forming stars, including those resembling our sun when it was young. "More studies are needed to...

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2011-03-21 08:25:00

The region around the center of our Milky Way galaxy glows colorfully in this new version of an image taken by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. The data were previously released as part of a long, 120-degree view of the plane our galaxy (see this page). Now, data from the very center of that picture are being presented at a different contrast to better highlight this jam-packed region. In visible-light pictures, it is all but impossible to see the heart of our galaxy, but infrared light...

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2011-03-09 07:05:00

Young, but surprisingly grown-up Astronomers have used an armada of telescopes on the ground and in space, including the Very Large Telescope at ESO's Paranal Observatory in Chile to discover and measure the distance to the most remote mature cluster of galaxies yet found. Although this cluster is seen when the Universe was less than one quarter of its current age it looks surprisingly similar to galaxy clusters in the current Universe. "We have measured the distance to the most distant...

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2011-02-10 14:15:00

Stars at all stages of development, from dusty little tots to young adults, are on display in a new image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. This cosmic community is called the North American nebula. In visible light, the region resembles the North American continent, with the most striking resemblance being the Gulf of Mexico. But in Spitzer's infrared view, the continent disappears. Instead, a swirling landscape of dust and young stars comes into view. "One of the things that makes me so...

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2011-01-13 10:34:54

Astronomers have turned up the first direct proof that "standard candles" used to illuminate the size of the universe, termed Cepheids, shrink in mass, making them not quite as standard as once thought. The findings, made with NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, will help astronomers make even more precise measurements of the size, age and expansion rate of our universe. Standard candles are astronomical objects that make up the rungs of the so-called cosmic distance ladder, a tool for measuring...

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2011-01-12 13:37:10

Astronomers have uncovered a burgeoning galactic metropolis, the most distant known in the early universe. This ancient collection of galaxies presumably grew into a modern galaxy cluster similar to the massive ones seen today. The developing cluster, named COSMOS-AzTEC3, was discovered and characterized by multi-wavelength telescopes, including NASA's Spitzer, Chandra and Hubble space telescopes, and the ground-based W.M. Keck Observatory and Japan's Subaru Telescope. "This exciting...

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2010-12-07 08:52:54

Written by: Josh Rodgriguez, NASA/JPL The Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer has taken its first images of the star Beta Peg in the constellation Pictor -- an encouraging start for an instrument designed to probe the cosmic neighborhoods where Earth-like planets could exist. Eight years in development, the NASA-funded instrument combines beams of light from twin 8.4-meter (28-foot) mirrors mounted atop the Large Binocular Telescope on Mount Graham, Ariz. "By combining the light of the...


Word of the Day
omadhaun
  • A fool; a simpleton: a term of abuse common in Ireland and to a less extent in the Gaelic-speaking parts of Scotland.
This word is partly Irish in origin.