New Eye on the Sky
NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, a partner to the Hubble Space Telescope, is capturing extraordinary images of the universe as seen in infrared rays. The galaxy M81 (top) displays spiral arms of clumpy dust clouds heated by energetic young stars. In our galaxy, the Elephant’s Trunk nebula (bottom left) shows similar newborn stars eroding their parent nebula. Closer still, a stellar embryo (bottom middle) emits puzzling jets, possibly linked with planet formation. Comet Schwassmann-Wachmann 1 (bottom right), orbiting in the outer solar system, sheds clouds of dust and organic molecules.
Courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/S. Willner (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)
Courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/W. Reach (SSC/Caltech)
Courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/A. Noriega-Crespo (SSC/Caltech)
Courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/D. Cruikshank (NASA Ames) & J. Stansberry (University of Arizona)