Within the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), a nearby and irregularly-shaped galaxy seen in the Southern Hemisphere, lies a star-forming region heavily obscured by interstellar dust. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has used its infrared eyes to poke through the cosmic veil to reveal a striking nebula where the entire lifecycle of stars is seen in splendid detail.
March 8th, 2004
Revealed by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, RCW 79 is seen in the southern Milky Way, 17,200 light-years from Earth in the constellation Centaurus. The bubble is 70-light years in diameter, and probably took about one million years to form from the radiation and winds of hot young stars.
March 10th, 2004
NASA's three Great Observatories -- the Hubble Space Telescope, the Spitzer Space Telescope, and the Chandra X-ray Observatory -- joined forces to probe the expanding remains of a supernova, called Kepler's supernova remnant, first seen 400 years ago by sky watchers, including famous astronomer Johannes Kepler.
October 6th, 2004
This majestic view taken by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope tells an untold story of life and death in the Eagle nebula, an industrious star-making factory located 7,000 light-years away in the Serpens constellation.
January 9th, 2007
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
This graph of data from NASA's Spitzer Space telescope shows changes in the infrared light output of two star-planet systems (one above, one below) located hundreds of light-years away. The data were taken while the planets, called HD 209458b and TrES-1, disappeared behind their stars in what is called a "secondary eclipse." The dip seen in the center of each graph represents the time when the planets were eclipsed, and tells astronomers exactly how much light they emit.
March 22nd, 2005
This image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope highlights dramatic changes in phenomena referred to as light echoes around the Cassiopeia A supernova remnant. Cassiopeia A is the remnant of a once massive star that died in a violent supernova explosion. It consists of a dead star, called a neutron star, and a surrounding shell of material that was blasted off as the star died.
May 29th, 2008
The "lifestyles" of 75 neighboring galaxies are illuminated in this poster from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. Scientists say this fresh perspective of our cosmic neighborhood provides valuable insights into growth process of galaxies at a glance.
December 14th, 2007
This image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows a dying star (center) surrounded by a cloud of glowing gas and dust. Spitzer has pierced through the dust to highlight a never-before-seen feature -- a giant ring of material (red) slightly offset from the cloud's core which consists of material that was expelled from the aging star.
August 8th, 2004
In the quest to better understand the birth of stars and the formation of new worlds, astronomers have used NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope to examine the massive stars contained in a cloudy region called Sharpless 140. This cloud is a fascinating microcosm of a star-forming region since it exhibits, within a relatively small area, all of the classic manifestations of stellar birth.
May 11th, 2004
This figure charts 30 hours of observations taken by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope of a strongly irradiated exoplanet (an planet orbiting a star beyond our own). It shows the very rapid heating the planet experienced as it swung through its closest approach to the star.
January 28th, 2009
Our solitary sunsets here on Earth might not be all that common in the grand scheme of things. New observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have revealed that mature planetary systems are more frequent around binary stars than single ones like our Sun.
March 29th, 2007
This image mosaic shows the same patch of sky in various wavelengths of light. While the visible-light image (left) shows a dark sky speckled with stars, infrared images (middle and right), reveal a never-before-seen bundle of stars, called a globular cluster.
October 12th, 2004
The double helix nebula as revelaed in the infrared by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. The spots are infrared-luminous stars, mostly red giants and red supergiants. Many other stars are present in this region, but are too dim to appear even in this sensitive infrared image.
March 15th, 2005
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope captured the picture on the left of comet Holmes in March 2008, five months after the comet suddenly erupted and brightened a millionfold overnight. The contrast of the picture has been enhanced on the right to show the anatomy of the comet.
October 10th, 2008
This graph of data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope demonstrates that the dust around a nearby star called HD 69830 (upper line) has a very similar composition to that of Comet Hale-Bopp. Spitzer spotted large amounts of this dust in the inner portion of the HD 69830 system.
April 20th, 2005
The magnificent spiral arms of the nearby galaxy Messier 81 are highlighted 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, 2003
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.
April 12th, 2007
The potential planet-forming disk (or "protoplanetary disk") of a sun-like star is being violently ripped away by the powerful winds of a nearby hot O-type star in this image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. At up to 100 times the mass of sun-like stars, O stars are the most massive and energetic stars in the universe.
October 3rd, 2006
This artist's concept illustrates one possible answer to the puzzle of the "giant galactic blobs." These blobs (red), first identified about five years ago, are mammoth clouds of intensely glowing material that surround distant galaxies (white).
January 11th, 2005
This artist's concept shows a Jupiter-like planet, called Upsilon Andromedae b, soaking up the scorching rays of its nearby star. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope determined that this planet is two-faced, with one side perpetually in the cold dark, and the other forever blistering under the heat of its star.
October 12th, 2006