Dohiyi Mir
    In Which NTodd Says His Peace

Friday, December 19, 2003
Go to the new DM blog.

Ooh, Pretty!

The Elephant's Trunk Nebula, taken by NASA's new Spitzer Space Telescope.

NASA announced the formal name of its newest space telescope today and released the first science pictures. The images support a promise that the orbiting observatory, now called the Spitzer Space Telescope, will provide top-notch science and entertainment on par the Hubble Space Telescope.
Initially called the Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF), the observatory is now named after the late Lyman Spitzer, Jr., who in the 1940s first proposed putting telescopes in space to overcome the limiting effects of Earth's atmosphere.
Spitzer, as the telescope is sure to be informally known, launched Aug. 25 and spent its first weeks in space undergoing instrument checkout...

The new photographs illustrate Spitzer's range of targets and capabilities. They provide fresh details of a nearby galaxy, a peek at star formation inside a corner of our own galaxy, an updated view of a planet-forming disk around a nearby star, and new details of a comet and a pair of asteroids. The telescope also discovered water for first time in a galaxy so far away that it is observed at a time when life was just developing on Earth, Spitzer scientists said.
The telescope gathers infrared light, an invisible form of electromagnetic radiation associated with heat. It allows astronomers to see through layers of dust, which block visible light, and detect heat emitted by deeply embedded dust around myriad cosmic objects.

So, this 'scope is like, way better than my 4.5" Newtonian. Cool.


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A non-violent, counter-dominant, left-liberal, possibly charismatic, quasi anarcho-libertarian Quaker's take on politics, volleyball, and other esoterica.

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