Monstrous disks like this one were discovered around two "hypergiant" stars by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. Astronomers believe these disks might contain the early "seeds" of planets, or possibly leftover debris from planets that already formed.
February 8th, 2006
A brilliant burst of star formation is revealed in this image combining observations from NASA's Spitzer and Hubble Space Telescopes. The collision of two spiral galaxies, has triggered this luminous starburst, the brightest ever seen taking place far away from the centers, or nuclei, of merging galaxies.
November 18th, 2010
NASA's Spitzer and Hubble Space Telescopes joined forces to create this striking composite image of one of the most popular sights in the universe. Messier 104 is commonly known as the Sombrero galaxy but in this striking visible-infrared view, the galaxy looks more like a "bull's eye."
May 4th, 2005
In this recent deep excavation, courtesy of NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, astronomers have unearthed what may be the most distant, primitive cluster of galaxies ever found. In a twist, however, this apparent ancestor to today's "big cities" of grouped galaxies looks shockingly modern.
May 11th, 2010
Astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have detected dust grains mingling with blazing hot gas at temperatures of 10 million degrees Kelvin (about 10 million degrees Celsius, or 17 million degrees Fahrenheit) in an area surrounding the elliptical-shaped galaxy called NGC 5044.
August 16th, 2007
This infrared image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows the double-ringed galaxy Messier 94. Just outside the bright core, a burning ring of star formation glows brightly in the light of warm interstellar dust. Encircling it all is the faint blue glow of starlight forming what was long taken to be an outer ring of stars, but may not be a ring at all.
May 16th, 2013
This ball of glowing gas is known as the Eskimo Nebula, or NGC 2392. It is found in the constellation Gemini and is about 3,000 light years away. The pioneering astronomer William Herschel first discovered it in 1787 using an early telescope that revealed very little of the structure we see in this infrared image from NASAs Spitzer Space Telescope.
July 2nd, 2012
Astronomers have new evidence that the Andromeda spiral galaxy was involved in a violent head-on collision with the neighboring dwarf galaxy Messier 32 (M32) more than 200 million years ago. Infrared photographs taken with NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope ring deep within the Andromeda galaxy.
October 18th, 2006
This artist's concept shows what the night sky might look like from a hypothetical planet around a star tossed out of an ongoing four-way collision between big galaxies (yellow blobs). NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope spotted this "quadruple merger" of galaxies within a larger cluster of galaxies located nearly 5 billion lights years away.
August 6th, 2007
The glowing Trifid Nebula is revealed in an infrared view from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. The Trifid Nebula is a giant star-forming cloud of gas and dust located 5,400 light-years away in the constellation Sagittarius.
January 12th, 2005
Two rambunctious young stars are destroying their natal dust cloud with powerful jets of radiation, in an infrared composite image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. The stars are located approximately 600 light-years away in a cosmic cloud called BHR 71.
April 17th, 2007
The nearby spiral galaxy, Messier 81 (M81) is shown in this image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. Located in the northern constellation of Ursa Major (which also includes the Big Dipper), this galaxy is easily visible through binoculars or a small telescope.
December 18th, 2006
This diagram highlights a slice of Saturn's largest ring. The ring (red band in inset photo) was discovered by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, which detected infrared light, or heat, from the dusty ring material. Spitzer viewed the ring edge-on from its Earth-trailing orbit around the sun.
October 6th, 2009
This visible light four-color composite of the spiral galaxy M51 comes from the Kitt Peak National Observatory 2.1m telescope and shows emissions from 0.4 to 0.7 microns, including the H-alpha nebular feature.
November 5th, 2004
The supernova remnant 1E0102.2-7219 (inset) revealed by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope sits next to the nebula N76 in a bright, star-forming region of the Small Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy to our Milky Way galaxy located about 200,000 light-years from Earth.
June 6th, 2006
This graph shows the two spectra acquired by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope before (middle) and after (bottom) it observed NASA's Deep Impact smash into comet Tempel 1. Above them is a past spectrum of comet Hale-Bopp, which illustrates the extra detail seen by Spitzer in Tempel 1.
September 7th, 2005
This image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows the scattered remains of an exploded star named Cassiopeia A. Spitzer's infrared detectors "picked" through these remains and found that much of the star's original layering had been preserved.
October 26th, 2006
The spiral galaxy NGC 5907, sometimes known as the "Splinter Galaxy" because of its unusual appearance, is located in the constellation Draco. NGC 5907 has a strong set of dust lanes, visible in this image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope as red features.
April 13th, 2005
How can you tell if a star has a protoplanetary disk around it, when the disk is too small to image directly? Using the technique of spectroscopy, scientists can deduce the temperature and chemical composition of material around a star, even if they cannot see the disk itself.
May 27th, 2004
Hidden behind a shroud of dust in the constellation Cygnus is an exceptionally bright source of radio emission called DR21. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope allows us to peek behind the cosmic veil and pinpoint one of the most massive natal stars yet seen in our Milky Way galaxy.
April 13th, 2004
In this false-color image, NASA's Hubble and Spitzer Space Telescopes have teamed up to capture the complex structure of the Helix nebula, in unprecedented detail. The composite picture is made up of visible data from Hubble and infrared data from Spitzer.
January 9th, 2006
This artist's concept depicts a quadruple-star system called HD 98800. The system is approximately 10 million years old, and is located 150 light-years away in the constellation Crater. HD98800 is included in the TW Hydrae association.
July 24th, 2007
NASA Spitzer Space Telescope image of periodic comet Schwassmann-Wachmann I (P/SW-1) - an unusual comet that experiences frequent outbursts, which produce abrupt changes in brightness. P/SW-1 has a nearly circular orbit just outside that of Jupiter, with an orbital period of 14.9 years.
December 18th, 2003
The elements and molecules that flew out of the Cassiopeia A star when it exploded about 300 years ago can be seen clearly for the first time in this plot of data, called a spectrum, taken by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.
December 20th, 2007
A possible newfound planet spins through a clearing in a nearby star's dusty, planet-forming disc. The possible planet is theorized to be at least as massive as Jupiter, and may have a similar appearance to what the giant planets in our own solar system looked like billions of years ago.
May 27th, 2004
In visible light, the bulk of our Milky Way galaxy's stars are eclipsed behind thick clouds of galactic dust and gas. But to the infrared eyes of NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, distant stars and dust clouds shine with unparalleled clarity and color.
December 12th, 2005
This artist's conception symbolically represents complex organic molecules, known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, seen in the early universe. These large molecules, comprised of carbon and hydrogen, are considered among the building blocks of life.
July 28th, 2005
This beautiful bulb might look like a Christmas ornament but it is the blown-out remains of a stellar explosion, or supernova. The remains, called Cassiopeia A, are shown here in an infrared composite from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.
December 20th, 2007
This false-color composite image of the Stephan's Quintet galaxy cluster clearly shows one of the largest shock waves ever seen (green arc), produced by one galaxy falling toward another at over a million miles per hour. It is made up of data from NASA's
March 2nd, 2006