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Latest Spitzer Space Telescope Stories

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2010-01-29 11:00:00

An international team, led by astronomers at the University of Hertfordshire have discovered what may be the coolest sub-stellar body ever found outside our own solar system. Using the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT) in Hawaii, a discovery has been made of an object which is technically known as a brown dwarf. The team's findings have been accepted for publication in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. What has excited astronomers are its very peculiar...

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2010-01-25 16:15:00

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, has spotted its first never-before-seen near-Earth asteroid, the first of hundreds it is expected to find during its mission to map the whole sky in infrared light. There is no danger of the newly discovered asteroid hitting Earth. The near-Earth object, designated 2010 AB78, was discovered by WISE Jan. 12. The mission's sophisticated software picked out the moving object against a background of stationary stars. As WISE circled Earth,...

2010-01-06 13:30:00

Infrared all-sky surveying telescope sends back first images from space WASHINGTON, Jan. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, has captured its first look at the starry sky that it will soon begin surveying in infrared light. (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) Launched on Dec. 14, WISE will scan the entire sky for millions of hidden objects, including asteroids, "failed" stars and powerful galaxies. WISE data will...

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2010-01-06 14:45:00

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, has captured its first look at the starry sky that it will soon begin surveying in infrared light. Launched on Dec. 14, WISE will scan the entire sky for millions of hidden objects, including asteroids, "failed" stars and powerful galaxies. WISE data will serve as navigation charts for other missions, such as NASA's Hubble and Spitzer Space Telescopes, pointing them to the most interesting targets the mission finds. A new WISE infrared...

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2010-01-05 13:34:13

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has captured an action-packed picture of the nearby Small Magellanic Cloud, a small galaxy that looks like a wispy cloud when seen from Earth. From Spitzer's perch up in space, the galaxy's clouds of dust and stars come into clear view. The telescope's infrared vision reveals choppy piles of recycled stardust -- dust that is being soaked up by new star systems and blown out by old ones. To some people, the new view might resemble a sea creature, or even a...

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2010-01-05 08:45:00

For almost two centuries, humans have looked up at a bright star called Epsilon Aurigae and watched with their own eyes as it seemed to disappear into the night sky, slowly fading before coming back to life again. Today, as another dimming of the system is underway, mysteries about the star persist. Though astronomers know that Epsilon Aurigae is eclipsed by a dark companion object every 27 years, the nature of both the star and object has remained unclear. Now, new observations from NASA's...

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2009-12-30 08:10:00

Engineers and scientists say the maneuver went off without a hitch, and everything is working properly. The mission's "first-light" images of the sky will be released to the public in about a month, after the telescope has been fully calibrated. "The cover floated away as we planned," said William Irace, the mission's project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. "Our detectors are soaking up starlight for the first time." WISE will perform the most detailed infrared...

2009-12-14 10:39:00

BOULDER, Colo., Dec. 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. announced today that the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) satellite built for NASA successfully launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., at 6:09:33 a.m. on board a Boeing Delta II rocket. Ball Aerospace designed and built the WISE spacecraft, led all satellite level testing and is supporting operations under contract to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The WISE RS-300 spacecraft...

2009-12-14 10:06:00

MINNEAPOLIS, Dec. 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Alliant Techsystems (NYSE: ATK) played a key role in the successful launch of United Launch Alliance's Delta II rocket today from Space Launch Complex 2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., carrying the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) satellite for NASA. The company provided solid rocket boosters and the composite payload fairing. ATK manufactured the three, 40-inch-diameter Graphite Epoxy Motors (GEM), which are strap-on...

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2009-11-24 05:40:00

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has contributed to the discovery of the youngest brown dwarf ever observed -- a finding that, if confirmed, may solve an astronomical mystery about how these cosmic misfits are formed. Brown dwarfs are misfits because they fall somewhere between planets and stars in terms of their temperature and mass. They are cooler and more lightweight than stars and more massive (and normally warmer) than planets. This has generated a debate among astronomers: Do brown...


Word of the Day
vermicular
  • Like a worm in form or movement; vermiform; tortuous or sinuous; also, writhing or wriggling.
  • Like the track or trace of a worm; appearing as if worm-eaten; vermiculate.
  • Marked with fine, close-set, wavy or tortuous lines of color; vermiculated.
  • A form of rusticated masonry which is so wrought as to appear thickly indented with worm-tracks.
This word ultimately comes from the Latin 'vermis,' worm.
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