What is Spitzer Space Telescope

Pablo Tucker
February 2, 2020

And there are so many more celestial objects that astronomers can study with infrared observatories like Spitzer.

An estimated 4,000 scientists around the world took part in the observations and published almost 9,000 studies, according to NASA.

Peering Through Dusty Space Where visible light gets blocked by dust, some wavelengths of infrared shine through.

Spitzer, which was sent out right into orbit as well as started huge monitorings in 2003, is one of the effective telescopes discovering points past the variety of the human eye, checking out electro-magnetic radiation of numerous wavelengths, much like the Hubble, Compton as well as Chandra telescopes do, Efe information reported.

Mike Werner says that Spitzer also allows observing planetary systems that can pull debris around the white dwarf stars into their atmosphere. The infrared instruments on Spitzer were created to penetrate the thick dust and dense interstellar clouds that obscure most of the visible spectrum of light.

Scientists use infrared observations to view newborn stars and still-forming "protostars", swaddled in the clouds of gas and dust from which they formed. So Spitzer also turned its infrared "eyes" on our own galaxy.

One of the most studied stars in astronomy, also known as 1987A, is also located outside the Tarantula Nebula. It's a hub for star formation and hosts R136, a "starburst" region where giant stars develop close together at a rate faster than in the rest of the galaxy.

By contrast, there are no stars at all within one light-year of the Sun - the nearest is Proxima Centauri which is 4.3 light years away.

When astronomers study stars and galaxies in visible light, they're plagued by the dust that fills galaxies and sometimes blocks objects from view. It earned its nickname after it burned with the power of 100 million suns after exploding in a supernova. Initially Spitzer's instruments, cooled with liquid helium to -459 degrees Fahrenheit (-273 degrees Celsius), observed light with wavelengths from 3 to 160 micrometers during its cold mission.

It has been at the centre of a number of major discoveries during its 16 year lifespan including the discovery of hot Jupiter like exoplanets.

"Spitzer has taught us about entirely new aspects of the cosmos and taken us many steps further in understanding how the universe works, addressing questions about our origins, and whether or not are we alone", said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. Even if it goes offline, the telescope could still aid researchers to make more discoveries in the future.

Spitzer was one of NASA's four Great Observatories to be launched into space - each capturing a different frequency or wavelength.

This image made available by NASA shows an active stellar nursery containing thousands of young stars and developing protostars, near the sword of the constellation Orion, captured by the Spitzer Space Telescope.

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