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Encyclopedia > Spitzer Space Telescope
Spitzer Space Telescope

An artist's concept of the Spitzer Space Telescope
Organization: NASA/JPL/Caltech
Major Contractors: Lockheed Martin/Ball Aerospace
Mission type: Space Telescope
Satellite of: Earth
Launch Date: August 25, 2003
Launch Vehicle: Delta II 7920H ELV
NSSDC ID: 2003-038A
Webpage: Spitzer Space Telescope
Mass: 950 kg (2090 lb)
edit

The Spitzer Space Telescope (formerly the Space Infrared Telescope Facility [SIRTF]) is an infrared space observatory, the fourth and final of NASA's Great Observatories. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (2048x1536, 2238 KB) NASAs Spitzer Space Telescope Artists conception of the Spitzer Space Telescope. ... NASA Insignia Listen to this article · (info) This audio file was created from an article revision dated 2005-09-01, and does not reflect subsequent edits to the article. ... The JPL complex in Pasadena, Ca. ... California Institute of Technology The California Institute of Technology (commonly known as Caltech) is a private, coeducational university located in Pasadena, California, in the United States. ... Lockheed/BAE/Northrop F-35 Lockheed Trident missile C-130 Hercules; in production since the 1950s, now as the C-130J Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) is an aerospace manufacturer formed in 1995 by the merger of Lockheed Corporation with Martin Marietta. ... Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. ... Earth (IPA: , often referred to as the Earth, Terra, the World or Planet Earth) is the third planet in the solar system in terms of distance from the Sun, and the fifth largest. ... August 25 is the 237th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (238th in leap years), with 128 days remaining. ... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... A Delta II rocket launches from Cape Canaveral carrying a GPS satellite The Boeing IDS Delta II family of launch vehicles has been in service since 1989. ... NASA logo The National Space Science Data Center (NSSDC) is a department in NASAs Solar System Exploration Division. ... Image of a small dog taken in mid-infrared (thermal) light (false color) Infrared (IR) radiation is electromagnetic radiation of a wavelength longer than that of visible light, but shorter than that of radio waves. ... Space telescopes A space observatory is any instrument in outer space which is used for observation of distant planets, galaxies, and other outer space objects. ... NASA Insignia Listen to this article · (info) This audio file was created from an article revision dated 2005-09-01, and does not reflect subsequent edits to the article. ... NASAs series of Great Observatories satellites were four large, powerful space-based telescopes. ...


The time frame of the mission will be a minimum of 2.5 years, with 5 or more optimal. In keeping with NASA tradition, the telescope was renamed after successful demonstration of operation, on December 18, 2003. Unlike most telescopes which are named after famous deceased astronomers by a board of scientists, the name for SIRTF was obtained from a contest open to the general public (to the delight of science educators). NASA Insignia Listen to this article · (info) This audio file was created from an article revision dated 2005-09-01, and does not reflect subsequent edits to the article. ... In the Gregorian Calendar, December 18 is the 352nd day of the year (353rd in leap years), at which point there will be 13 days remaining to the end of the year. ... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 50 cm refracting telescope at Nice Observatory. ... Science education is the field concerned with sharing science content and process with individuals not traditionally considered part of the scientific community. ...


The name chosen was that of Dr. Lyman Spitzer, Jr., the first to propose placing telescopes in space, in the mid-1940s. Lyman Spitzer Lyman Spitzer, Jr. ...


The US$ 800 million[1] Spitzer was launched on Monday 25 August 2003 at 1:35:39 (EDT) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on a Delta II 7920H ELV rocket. It follows a rather unusual orbit, heliocentric instead of geocentric, following earth in its orbit, and drifting away from Earth at approximately 0.1 astronomical unit per year. The primary mirror is 85 cm in diameter, f/12 (i. e. the focal length is 12 times the diameter of the primary mirror) and made of beryllium and cooled to 5.5 K. The satellite contains three instruments that will allow it to perform imaging and photometry from 3 to 180 micrometers, spectroscopy from 5 to 40 micrometers, and spectrophotometry from 5 to 100 micrometers. August 25 is the 237th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (238th in leap years), with 128 days remaining. ... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Eastern Daylight Time or EDT is equal to: In North America, Eastern Standard Time + 1, or UTC − 4 hours. ... The Bumper V-2 was the first missile launched at Cape Canaveral on July 24, 1950. ... A Delta II rocket launches from Cape Canaveral carrying a GPS satellite The Boeing IDS Delta II family of launch vehicles has been in service since 1989. ... A heliocentric orbit is an orbit around the sun. ... Geocentric orbit refers to the orbit of any object orbiting the Earth, such as the Moon or artificial satellites. ... Earth (IPA: , often referred to as the Earth, Terra, the World or Planet Earth) is the third planet in the solar system in terms of distance from the Sun, and the fifth largest. ... The astronomical unit (AU or au or a. ... A primary mirror is a form of distributed data management on the Internet. ... The focal point F and focal length f of a positive lens, a negative lens, a concave mirror, and a convex mirror. ... General Name, Symbol, Number beryllium, Be, 4 Chemical series alkaline earth metals Group, Period, Block 2, 2, s Appearance white-gray metallic Atomic mass 9. ... The Kelvin scale is a thermodynamic (absolute) temperature scale where absolute zero—the lowest possible temperature where nothing could be colder and no heat energy remains in a substance—is defined as zero kelvin (0 K). ... MILSTAR:A communication satellite A satellite is any object that orbits another object (which is known as its primary). ... Photometry is a technique of astronomy concerned with measuring the flux, or intensity of an astronomical objects electromagnetic radiation. ... A micrometre (American spelling: micrometer, symbol µm) is an SI unit of length equal to one millionth of a metre, or about a tenth of the size of a droplet of mist or fog. ... Extremely high resolution spectrum of the Sun showing thousands of elemental absorption lines (fraunhofer lines) Spectroscopy is the study of matter and its properties by investigating light, sound, or particles that are emitted, absorbed or scattered by the matter under investigation. ... A Spectrophotometer In physics, spectrophotometry is the quantitative study of electromagnetic spectra. ...


Spitzer is the only one of the Great Observatories not launched by the Space Shuttle. It was originally intended to, but after the Columbia disaster, the Centaur LH2/LOX upper stage that would have been required to push it into its intended orbit was banned from Shuttle use. NASAs series of Great Observatories satellites. ... NASAs Space Shuttle, officially called Space Transportation System (STS), is the United States governments current manned launch vehicle. ... Crew of STS-107 on launch day (Close up of faces and names) STS-107 was a space shuttle mission by NASA using the Space Shuttle Columbia. ... Model of Centaur with Surveyor as payload. ... LH2 is an acronym used in the aerospace industry, which stands for liquid hydrogen. ... Lox can stand for any of several things: Lox (salmon) - a type of salmon produce LOx (oxidizer) - liquid oxygen used as oxidizer in aerospace The Lox - was a Yonkers, NY-based rap trio This is a disambiguation page — a list of articles associated with the same title. ...

Contents

Instruments

The primary instrument package was developed by Ball Aerospace, in Boulder, CO. Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. ... Pearl Street Mall in Downtown Boulder Boulder (40n01, 105w16 MST) is a city located in Boulder County, Colorado, USA. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 94,673. ...

  • IRAC (Infrared Array Camera), an infrared camera which operates simultaneously on four wavelengths (3.6 µm, 4.5 µm, 5.8 µm and 8 µm). The resolution is 256 × 256 pixels.
  • IRS (Infrared Spectrograph), an infrared spectrometer with four sub-modules which operate at the wavelengths 5.3-14 µm (low resolution), 10-19.5 µm (high resolution), 14-40 µm (low resolution), and 19-37 µm (high resolution).
  • MIPS (Multiband Imaging Photometer for Spitzer), three detector arrays in the far infrared (128 × 128 pixels at 24 µm, 32 × 32 pixels at 70 µm, 2 × 20 pixels at 160 µm)

Earlier infrared observations had been made by both space-based and ground-based observatories. Ground-based observatories have the drawback that at infrared wavelengths or frequencies, both the Earth's atmosphere and the telescope itself will radiate (glow) strongly. This necessitates lengthy calibrations of all images and will decrease the ability to detect faint objects. Previous space-based satellites (such as IRAS, the Infrared Astronomical Satellite, and ISO, the Infrared Space Observatory) were operational during the 1980s and 1990s and great advances in astronomical technology have been made since then. MolÄ—tai Astronomical Observatory An observatory is a location used for observing terrestrial and/or celestial events. ... The wavelength is the distance between repeating units of a wave pattern. ... Sine waves of various frequencies; the bottom waves have higher frequencies than those above. ... Layers of Atmosphere (NOAA) Air redirects here. ... The Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) was a space-based observatory that performed a survey of the entire sky at infrared wavelengths. ... The Infrared Space Observatory (ISO)is a space telescope for infrared light designed and operated by the European Space Agency (ESA). ...


Results

Image of Andromeda Galaxy (M31) taken by Spitzer in infrared, MIPS, 24 micrometers (Credit:NASA/JPL-Caltech/K. Gordon (University of Arizona)
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Image of Andromeda Galaxy (M31) taken by Spitzer in infrared, MIPS, 24 micrometers (Credit:NASA/JPL-Caltech/K. Gordon (University of Arizona)

The first images taken by SST were designed to show off the abilities of the telescope and showed a glowing stellar nursery; a swirling, dusty galaxy; a disc of planet-forming debris; and organic material in the distant universe. Since then, monthly press releases have shown off Spitzer's capabilities, as the Hubble Heritage images do for the HST. As one of its most noteworthy observations, in 2005, SST became the first to directly capture the light from extrasolar planets, namely the "hot Jupiters" HD 209458b and TrES-1. (It did not resolve that light into actual images though.) [2] This was the first time extrasolar planets had actually been visually seen, and earlier observations had been indirectly made by drawing conclusions from behaviors of the star the planets were orbiting. The telescope also discovered in April 2005 that Cohen-kuhi Tau/4 had a planetary disk that was vastly younger and contained less mass than previously theorized, leading to new understandings of how planets are formed. ImageMetadata File history File links Download high resolution version (4097x1205, 1014 KB) Summary Andromeda Galaxy (M31) 2. ... ImageMetadata File history File links Download high resolution version (4097x1205, 1014 KB) Summary Andromeda Galaxy (M31) 2. ... M31 in a small telescope The Andromeda Galaxy (IPA: , also known as Messier 31, M31, or NGC 224; older texts often called it the Andromeda Nebula) is a spiral galaxy approximately 2. ... Image of a small dog taken in mid-infrared (thermal) light (false color) Infrared (IR) radiation is electromagnetic radiation of a wavelength longer than that of visible light, but shorter than that of radio waves. ... A micrometre (American spelling: micrometer, symbol µm) is an SI unit of length equal to one millionth of a metre, or about a tenth of the size of a droplet of mist or fog. ... NASA Insignia Listen to this article · (info) This audio file was created from an article revision dated 2005-09-01, and does not reflect subsequent edits to the article. ... The JPL complex in Pasadena, Ca. ... California Institute of Technology The California Institute of Technology (commonly known as Caltech) is a private, coeducational university located in Pasadena, California, in the United States. ... The University of Arizona (UA or U of A) is a land-grant and space-grant public institution of higher education and research located in Tucson, Arizona, United States. ... This article is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) is a telescope in orbit around the Earth, named after astronomer Edwin Hubble for his discovery of galaxies outside the Milky Way and his creation of Hubbles Law, which calculates the rate at which the universe is expanding. ... An extrasolar planet, or exoplanet, is a planet beyond the Solar System. ... HD 209458b is an extrasolar planet that orbits the Sun-like star HD 209458 in the constellation Pegasus, some 150 light years from Earths solar system. ... The Pleiades, an open cluster of stars in the constellation of Taurus. ... Cohen-kuhi Tau/4 is a star 420 light-years away from Earth in the Taurus Constellation where in August 2005 Joel Green and Dan Watson discovered an irregularity in the stars brightness to wavelength spectrum while using the Spitzer Space Telescope. ...

Clockwise from the upper-left: Infrared views of spiral galaxy Messier 81; Embedded outflows from Herbig-Haro 46/47 protostar; Protostars uncovered in multiple views of dark globule in IC1396; and Comet Schwassmann-Wachmann 1.
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Clockwise from the upper-left: Infrared views of spiral galaxy Messier 81; Embedded outflows from Herbig-Haro 46/47 protostar; Protostars uncovered in multiple views of dark globule in IC1396; and Comet Schwassmann-Wachmann 1.

While some time on the telescope is reserved for participating institutions and crucial projects, astronomers around the world also have the opportunity to submit proposals for observing time. Important targets include forming stars (young stellar objects, or YSOs), planets, and other galaxies. Images are freely available for educational and journalistic purposes. Download high resolution version (627x628, 97 KB) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Download high resolution version (627x628, 97 KB) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Young stellar object (YSO) denotes a star in its early stage of evolution. ...


In 2004, it was reported that Spitzer had spotted a faintly glowing body that may be the youngest star ever seen. The telescope was trained on a core of gas of dust known as L1014 which had previously appeared completely dark to ground based observatories and to ISO (Infrared Space Observatory), a predecessor to Spitzer. The advanced technology of Spitzer revealed a bright red hot spot in the middle of L1014. 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Infrared Space Observatory (ISO)is a space telescope for infrared light designed and operated by the European Space Agency (ESA). ...


Scientists from the University of Texas at Austin who discovered the object believe the hot spot to be an example of early star development with the young star collecting gas and dust from the cloud around it. Early speculation about the hot spot was that it might have been the faint light of another core that lies 10 times further from Earth but along the same line of sight as L1014. Follow-up observation from ground-based near-infrared observatories detected a faint fan-shaped glow in the same location as the object found by Spitzer. That glow is too feeble to have come from the more distant core leading to the conclusion that the object is located within L1014. (Young et al., 2004) The University of Texas at Austin, often called UT or Texas, is the flagship[3][4][5][6][7] institution of the University of Texas System. ...


In 2005, astronomers from the University of Wisconsin (UW-Madison and UW-Whitewater) determined, on the basis of 400 hours of observation on the Spitzer Space Telescope, that the Milky Way Galaxy has a more substantial bar structure across its core than previously recognized. 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The University of Wisconsin–Madison is a public university located in Madison, Wisconsin. ... The Milky Way (a translation of the Latin Via Lactea, in turn derived from the Greek Galaxia Kuklos; or simply the Galaxy) is a barred spiral galaxy in the Local Group, and has special significance to humanity as the location of the solar system, which is located near the Orion... NGC 1300, viewed nearly face-on. ...

Valentine's Day release: These bright young stars are found in a rosebud-shaped (and rose-colored) nebulosity known as NGC 7129. The star cluster and its associated nebula are located at a distance of 3300 light-years in the constellation Cepheus.
Valentine's Day release: These bright young stars are found in a rosebud-shaped (and rose-colored) nebulosity known as NGC 7129. The star cluster and its associated nebula are located at a distance of 3300 light-years in the constellation Cepheus.

Also in 2005, astronomers Alexander Kashlinsky and John Mather of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center reported that one of Spitzer's earliest images may have captured the light of the first stars in the universe. An image of a quasar in the Draco constellation, intended only to help calibrate the telescope, was found to contain an infrared glow after the light of known objects was removed. Kashlinsky and Mather are convinced that the numerous blobs in this glow are the light of stars that formed as early as 100 million years after the big bang, red shifted by cosmic expansion. [3] Download high resolution version (669x784, 69 KB)NGC 7129 from the Spitzer Space Telescope. ... Download high resolution version (669x784, 69 KB)NGC 7129 from the Spitzer Space Telescope. ... NGC 7129 is an open cluster star-forming region in a reflection nebula which a circa 2004 survey shows has over 130 very young stars each less than 1 million years old. ... Aerial view of Goddard Space Flight Center. ... Artists impression of quasar GB1508 A quasar (contraction of QUASi-stellAR radio source) is an astronomical source of electromagnetic energy, including light, which shows a very high redshift. ... Draco (Latin for Dragon) is a far northern constellation that is circumpolar for many northern hemisphere observers. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Calibration is the determination, by measurement or comparison with a standard, of the correct value of each reading on a measuring instrument. ... According to the Big Bang, the universe emerged from an extremely dense and hot state (bottom). ... This article is about the light phenomenon. ... In cosmology, dark energy is a hypothetical form of energy which permeates all of space and has strong negative pressure. ...

Artificial color image of the Double Helix Nebula, thought to be generated at the galactic center by magnetic torsion 1000 times greater than the sun's.
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Artificial color image of the Double Helix Nebula, thought to be generated at the galactic center by magnetic torsion 1000 times greater than the sun's.

In March of 2006, astronomers reported an 80 light year-long nebula near the center of the Milky Way Galaxy, the Double Helix Nebula, which is, as the name implies, twisted into a double spiral shape. This is thought to be evidence of massive magnetic fields generated by the gas disc orbiting the supermassive black hole at the galaxy's center, 300 light years from the nebula and 25,000 light years from Earth. This nebula was discovered by the Spitzer Space Telescope, and published in the magazine Nature on March 16th, 2006. Image File history File linksMetadata DoubleHelixNebula-nr6903a. ... Image File history File linksMetadata DoubleHelixNebula-nr6903a. ... The Double Helix Nebula is a gaseous nebula near the center of our galaxy, which is thought to have been distorted by magnetic torsion into the shape of two connected spirals, known popularly as a double helix, akin to the shape of DNA. The nebula was discovered by the Spitzer... Supermassive Black Hole is a song by English rock band Muse and is featured on their 2006 album, Black Holes and Revelations. ...

Other resources

See also

A space observatory is any object in outer space which is used for observation of distant planets, galaxies, and other outer space objects. ... NASAs series of Great Observatories satellites were four large, powerful space-based telescopes. ...

References

  • Chadwick H. Young, Jes K. Jørgensen, Yancy L. Shirley, Jens Kauffmann, Tracy Huard, Shih-Ping Lai, Chang Won Lee, Antonio Crapsi, Tyler L. Bourke, Cornelis P. Dullemond, Timothy Y. Brooke, Alicia Porras, William Spiesman, Lori E. Allen, Geoffrey A. Blake, Neal J. Evans II, Paul M. Harvey, David W. Koerner, Lee G. Mundy, Phillip C. Myers, Deborah L. Padgett, Anneila I. Sargent, Karl R. Stapelfeldt, Ewine F. van Dishoeck, Frank Bertoldi, Nicholas Chapman, Lucas Cieza, Christopher H. DeVries, Naomi A. Ridge, and Zahed Wahhaj (2004). "A "starless" core that isn't: Detection of a source in the L1014 dense core with the Spitzer Space Telescope". Astrophysical Journal Supplement 154 (September): 396-401 Abstract.

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Spitzer space telescope - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1288 words)
Unlike most telescopes which are named after famous deceased astronomers by a board of scientists, the name for SIRTF was obtained from a contest open to the general public (to the delight of science educators).
The first images taken by SST were designed to show off the abilities of the telescope and showed a glowing stellar nursery; a swirling, dusty galaxy; a disc of planet-forming debris; and organic material in the distant universe.
The telescope was trained on a core of gas of dust known as L1014 which had previously appeared completely dark to ground based observatories and to ISO (Infrared Space Observatory), a predecessor to Spitzer.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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