Latest Spitzer Stories

2008-08-25 15:00:14

A new image from the U.S. space agency's Spitzer Space Telescope was released Monday as part of the telescope's fifth anniversary celebration. Spitzer was launched Aug. 25, 2003, by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The new infrared picture shows a colorful cosmic cloud, called W5, filled with multiple generations of stars. NASA said the image also provides dramatic new evidence that massive stars -- through their brute...

2008-07-21 19:40:00

The Pinwheel galaxy is gussied up in infrared light in a new picture from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. The fluffy-looking galaxy, officially named Messier 101, is dominated by a mishmash of spiral arms. In Spitzer's new view, in which infrared light is color coded, the galaxy sports a swirling blue center and a unique, coral-red outer ring. A new paper appearing July 20 in the Astrophysical Journal explains why this outer ring stands out. According to the authors, the red color highlights...

2008-06-03 14:35:00

More than 800,000 snapshots from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have been stitched together to create a new "coming of age" portrait of stars in our inner Milky Way galaxy.The image, which depicts an area of sky 120 degrees wide by two degrees tall, can be viewed at http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/spitzer/multimedia/20080603.html . It was unveiled today at the 212th meeting of the American Astronomical Society in St. Louis, Mo."This is the highest-resolution, largest, most sensitive...

2008-04-10 12:55:00

Millions of clustered stars glisten like an iridescent opal in a new image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. Called Omega Centauri, this sparkling orb of stars is like a miniature galaxy. It is the biggest and brightest of the more than 150 similar objects, called globular clusters, that orbit around the outside of our Milky Way galaxy. Stargazers at southern latitudes can spot the stellar gem with the naked eye in the constellation Centaurus. Spitzer's new infrared view, which has been...

2008-03-12 00:00:00

It may be the world's oldest profession, but prostitution is using some 21st-century tricks. The prostitution scandal involving New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer lays bare some of the inner workings of modern-day sex work: text messaging to clock in the client, electronic fund transfers, a Web site featuring color photos, prices and rankings. There's always been a distinction between indoor and street-level prostitution, and advances in technology have increasingly separated the two, said Ronald...

2008-02-26 16:10:00

Diamonds may be rare on Earth, but they are surprisingly common in space -- and the super-sensitive infrared eyes of NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope are perfect for scouting them, say scientists at the NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif. Using computer simulations, researchers have developed a strategy for finding diamonds in space that are only a nanometer (a billionth of a meter) in size. These gems are about 25,000 times smaller than a grain of sand, much too small for an...

2007-11-08 13:45:00

A new image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows a baby star 1,140 light-years away from Earth blowing two massive "bubbles." But instead of bubble gum, this youngster, called HH 46/47, is using powerful jets of gas to make bubbles in outer space. The infant star can be seen as a white spot toward the center of the Spitzer image. The two bubbles are shown as hollow elliptical shells of bluish-green material extending from the star. Wisps of green in the image reveal warm molecular...

2007-08-24 18:38:21

A newly expanded image of the Helix nebula lends a festive touch to the fourth anniversary of the launch of NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. This spectacular object, a dying star unraveling into space, is a favorite of amateur and professional astronomers alike. Spitzer has mapped the expansive outer structure of the six-light-year-wide nebula, and probed the inner region around the central dead star to reveal what appears to be a planetary system that survived the star's chaotic death...

2007-07-11 12:35:00

A scorching-hot gas planet beyond our solar system is steaming up with water vapor, according to new observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. The planet, called HD 189733b, swelters as it zips closely around its star every two days or so. Astronomers had predicted that planets of this class, termed "hot Jupiters," would contain water vapor in their atmospheres. Yet finding solid evidence for this has been slippery. These latest data are the most convincing yet that hot Jupiters are...

2007-04-12 16:33:04

The Seven Sisters, also known as the Pleiades, seem to float on a bed of feathers in a new infrared image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. Clouds of dust sweep around the stars, swaddling them in a cushiony veil. The view is quite different from what you might see if you look out to the west shortly after dusk. Right now, the famous family of stars is "stepping out" in the evening skies with a very bright and dazzling Venus. During the period from around April 10 to 13, the Pleiades...

Word of the Day
  • In music, a work for a keyboard-instrument, like the pianoforte or organ, originally intended to utilize and display varieties of touch: but the term has been extended so as to include many irregular works, similar to the prelude, the fantasia, and the improvisation.
This word is Italian in origin, coming from the feminine past participle of 'toccare,' to touch.