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Latest Spitzer Space Telescope Stories

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2011-07-20 10:21:36

New observations from the Herschel Space Observatory show a bizarre, twisted ring of dense gas at the center of our Milky Way galaxy. Only a few portions of the ring, which stretches across more than 600 light-years, were known before. Herschel's view reveals the entire ring for the first time, and a strange kink that has astronomers scratching their heads. "We have looked at this region at the center of the Milky Way many times before in the infrared," said Alberto Noriega-Crespo of NASA's...

2011-07-19 15:35:00

GREENBELT, Md., July 19, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- "Secondary" may not sound as important as "primary" but when it comes to the next-generation James Webb Space Telescope a secondary mirror plays a critical role in ensuring the telescope gathers information from the cosmos. The Webb's secondary mirror was recently completed, following polishing and gold-coating. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) There are four different types of mirrors that will fly on...

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2011-07-02 07:07:57

Galaxies once thought of as voracious tigers are more like grazing cows, according to a new study using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. Astronomers have discovered that galaxies in the distant, early universe continuously ingested their star-making fuel over long periods of time. This goes against previous theories that the galaxies devoured their fuel in quick bursts after run-ins with other galaxies. "Our study shows the merging of massive galaxies was not the dominant method of galaxy...

2011-06-30 15:00:00

WASHINGTON, June 30, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Galaxies once thought of as voracious tigers are more like grazing cows, according to a new study using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) Astronomers have discovered that galaxies in the distant universe continuously ingested their star-making fuel over long periods of time. This goes against previous theories that galaxies devoured their fuel in quick bursts after run-ins...

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2011-06-16 10:20:00

On Thursday, NASA released a colorful image of the RCW 120 nebula taken bb the Spitzer space telescope. This nebula is 4,300 light-years away in the constellation Scorpius just above the plane of the galaxy. It emits a broad range of colors in the infrared region and has wavelengths beyond what humans can see. The ring-shaped cloud of gas and dust is believed to have originated from the heat of giant "O" type stars at the ring's center. These are the largest and brightest stars scientists...

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2011-05-26 14:33:32

Five billion years from now, our Milky Way galaxy will collide with the Andromeda galaxy. This will mark a moment of both destruction and creation. The galaxies will lose their separate identities as they merge into one. At the same time, cosmic clouds of gas and dust will smash together, triggering the birth of new stars. To understand our past and imagine our future, we must understand what happens when galaxies collide. But since galaxy collisions take place over millions to billions of...

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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...


Word of the Day
call-note
  • The call or cry of a bird or other animal to its mate or its young.
'Call-note' is newer than 'bird-call,' which originally referred to 'an instrument for imitating the note of birds' but now also refers to 'the song or cry of a bird.'
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