This composite color image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope reveals hidden populations of newborn stars at the heart of the colliding "Antennae" galaxies. These two galaxies, known individually as NGC 4038 and 4039, are located around 68 million light-years away and have been merging together for about the last 800 million years.
September 7th, 2004
Hidden behind a shroud of dust in the constellation Cygnus is a stellar nursery called DR21, which is giving birth to some of the most massive stars in our galaxy. Visible light images reveal no trace of this interstellar cauldron because of heavy dust obscuration.
April 13th, 2004
These images reveal a background glow of light from a period of time when the universe was less than one billion years old. This light most likely originated from the universe's very first groups of objects -- either huge stars or voracious black holes.
December 18th, 2006
This graph of data, or spectrum, from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope indicates that a dead star, or white dwarf, called G29-38, is shrouded by a cloud of dust. The data also demonstrate that this dust contains some of the same types of minerals found in comet Hale-Bopp.
January 11th, 2006
A Luminous Blue Variable star, HD168625, is surrounded by a bipolar nebula that is similar to the one around SN 1987A. This may explain how the structure around SN1987A formed pre-supernova, and it may signal that HD168625 is nearing the end.
January 9th, 2007
Looking like a spiders web swirled into a spiral, the galaxy IC 342 presents its delicate pattern of dust in this image from NASAs Spitzer Space Telescope. Seen in the infrared the faint starlight gives way to the glowing bright patterns of dust found throughout the galaxys disk.
July 20th, 2011
This stunning multi-mission picture shows off the many sides of the supernova remnant Cassiopeia A. It is made up of images taken by three of NASA's Great Observatories, using three different wavebands of light. Infrared data from the Spitzer Space Telescope are colored red; visible data from the Hubble Space Telescope are yellow; and X-ray data from the Chandra X-ray Observatory are green and blue.
June 9th, 2005
These shape-shifting galaxies have taken on the form of a giant mask. The icy blue eyes are actually the cores of two merging galaxies, called NGC 2207 and IC 2163, and the mask is their spiral arms. The false-colored image consists of infrared data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope (red) and visible data from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope (blue/green).
April 26th, 2006
This beautiful spiral galaxy NGC 1566, located approximately 60 million light-years away in the constellation Dorado was captured by the Spitzer Infrared Nearby Galaxies Survey (SINGS) Legacy Project using the Spitzer Space Telescope's Infrared Array Camera (IRAC).
September 15th, 2005
One of the most prolific birthing grounds in our Milky Way galaxy, a nebula called RCW 49, is exposed in superb detail for the first time in this image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. Located 13,700 light-years away in the southern constellation Centaurus, RCW 49 is a dark and dusty stellar nursery that houses more than 2,200 stars.
May 27th, 2004
This infrared data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope called a spectrum tells astronomers that a distant gas planet, a so-called "hot Jupiter" called HD 209458b, might be smothered with high clouds. It is one of the first spectra of an alien world.
February 21st, 2007
A cluster of newborn stars herald their birth in this interstellar Valentine's Day commemorative picture obtained with NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. These bright young stars are found in a rosebud-shaped (and rose-colored) nebulosity known as NGC 7129.
February 12th, 2004
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
This composite infrared image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has captured a nearby spiral galaxy that resembles our own Milky Way. The galaxy, known as NGC 7331 and sometimes referred to as our galaxy's twin, is found in the constellation Pegasus at a distance of 50 million light-years.
June 28th, 2004
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
This image shows an infrared data taken by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope of a region dubbed the "Mountains of Creation." Towering pillars of dust are aglow with the light of embryonic stars (white/yellow). The added detail in the Spitzer image reveals a dynamic region in the process of evolving and creating new stellar life.
November 9th, 2005
The green and red splotch in this image is the most active star-making galaxy in the very distant universe. Nicknamed "Baby Boom," the galaxy is churning out an average of up to 4,000 stars per year, more than 10 times the number produced in our own Milky Way galaxy.
July 10th, 2008