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Latest Spitzer Space Telescope Stories

WISE Catches Cosmic Dust Bunny
2012-04-27 03:13:54

Images from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) reveal an old star in the throes of a fiery outburst, spraying the cosmos with dust. The findings offer a rare, real-time look at the process by which stars like our sun seed the universe with building blocks for other stars, planets and even life. The star, catalogued as WISE J180956.27-330500.2, was discovered in images taken during the WISE survey in 2010, the most detailed infrared survey to date of the entire celestial sky....

Image 1 - Sombrero Galaxy Found To Have A Split Personality
2012-04-25 05:03:49

The Spitzer Space Telescope has helped astronomers reveal that the Sombrero galaxy is both a rotund and a slender disk galaxy. Sombrero is a round elliptical galaxy with a thin disk embedded inside, and is one of the first known to exhibit characteristics of two different types of galaxies. "The Sombrero is more complex than previously thought," Dimitri Gadotti of the European Southern Observatory in Chile, said in a press release. "The only way to understand all we know about this...

2012-04-13 03:26:20

A University of Oklahoma assistant professor and colleagues have identified two white dwarf stars considered the oldest and closest known to man.  Astronomers identified these 11- to 12-billion-year-old white dwarf stars only 100 light years away from Earth.  These stars are the closest known examples of the oldest stars in the Universe forming soon after the Big Bang, according to the OU researcher. Mukremin Kilic, assistant professor of physics and astronomy in the OU College...

NASA Extends Kepler, Spitzer, Planck Missions
2012-04-06 04:08:16

NASA is extending three missions affiliated with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. -- Kepler, the Spitzer Space Telescope and the U.S. portion of the European Space Agency's Planck mission -- as a result of the 2012 Senior Review of Astrophysics Missions. The 2012 NASA Senior Review report, which includes these three missions and six others also being extended, is available at: http://science.nasa.gov/astrophysics/2012-senior-review/ . "This means scientists can continue...

Public To Get Access To Spectacular Infrared Images Of Galaxies
2012-03-27 08:22:58

For the first time, the general public will be able to browse detailed infrared images of more than 200 galaxies. The pictures, originating from data from the orbiting Spitzer Space Telescope, will be released later this year. Dr George Bendo of the Jodrell Bank center for Astrophysics will highlight the new imagery in a preview at the National Astronomy Meeting in Manchester. The pictures are mid-infrared (24 micron wavelength) reprocessed images of nearby galaxies observed with Spitzer...

Image 1 - Citizen Scientists Reveal Spitzer's Bubbly Milky Way
2012-03-08 04:25:33

A team of volunteers has pored over observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and discovered more than 5,000 "bubbles" in the disk of our Milky Way galaxy. Young, hot stars blow these bubbles into surrounding gas and dust, indicating areas of brand new star formation. Upwards of 35,000 "citizen scientists" sifted through the Spitzer infrared data as part of the online Milky Way Project to find these telltale bubbles. The volunteers have turned up 10 times as many bubbles as previous...

Spitzer Telescope Finds Hidden Jet
2012-03-02 04:03:59

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope took this image of a baby star sprouting two identical jets (green lines emanating from fuzzy star). The jet on the right had been seen before in visible-light views, but the jet at left -- the identical twin to the first jet -- could only be seen in detail with Spitzer's infrared detectors. The left jet was hidden behind a dark cloud, which Spitzer can see through. The twin jets, in a system called Herbig-Haro 34, are made of identical knots of gas and dust,...

Young Stars Flicker Amidst Clouds Of Gas And Dust
2012-02-29 13:22:36

Astronomers have spotted young stars in the Orion nebula changing right before their eyes, thanks to the European Space Agency's Herschel Space Observatory and NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. The colorful specks -- developing stars strung across the image -- are rapidly heating up and cooling down, speaking to the turbulent, rough-and-tumble process of reaching full stellar adulthood. The rainbow of colors represents different wavelengths of infrared light captured by both Spitzer and...

Researchers Discover Sold-State Buckyballs In Space
2012-02-22 13:38:19

[ Watch the Video ] For the first time ever, astronomers have discovered buckminsterfullerines existing in a solid form in space, according to a study published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. Ian O'Neill of Discovery News reports that buckminsterfullerines (also known as buckyballs) are "a geodesic molecular ordering of 60 carbon atoms that resemble the domes designed by American architect and inventor Richard Buckminster Fuller." Previously, these...


Word of the Day
caparison
  • A cloth or covering, more or less ornamented, laid over the saddle or furniture of a horse, especially of a sumpter-horse or horse of state.
  • Clothing, especially sumptuous clothing; equipment; outfit.
  • To cover with a caparison, as a horse.
  • To dress sumptuously; adorn with rich dress.
This word ultimately comes from the Medieval Latin 'cappa,' cloak.
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