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Latest Spitzer Space Telescope Stories

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2011-08-12 05:40:00

VV 340, also known as Arp 302, provides a textbook example of colliding galaxies seen in the early stages of their interaction. The edge-on galaxy near the top of the image is VV 340 North and the face-on galaxy at the bottom of the image is VV 340 South. Millions of years later these two spirals will merge -- much like the Milky Way and Andromeda will likely do billions of years from now. Data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory (purple) are shown here along with optical data from the...

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2011-08-11 10:06:22

If this were an inkblot test, you might see a bow tie or a butterfly depending on your personality. An astronomer would likely see the remains of a dying star scattered about space -- precisely what this is. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope captured this infrared view of what's called a planetary nebula, which is a cloud of material expelled by a burnt out star, called a white dwarf. This object is named the Dumbbell nebula after its resemblance to the exercise equipment in visible-light...

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2011-07-21 08:27:51

Those aren't insects trapped in a spider's web -- they're stars in our own Milky Way galaxy, lying between us and another spiral galaxy called IC 342. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope captured this picture in infrared light, revealing the galaxy's bright patterns of dust. At a distance of about 10 million light-years from Earth, IC 342 is relatively close by galaxy standards. However, our vantage point places it directly behind the disk of our own Milky Way. The intervening dust makes it...

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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...


Word of the Day
cruet
  • A vial or small glass bottle, especially one for holding vinegar, oil, etc.; a caster for liquids.
This word is Middle English in origin, and ultimately comes from the Old French, diminutive of 'crue,' flask.
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