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Description
Image ID: ssc2003-06k Release date: en:December 19, en:2003
Source: Spitzer news release
Title: Lifting the Cosmic Veil
Credit:

Image courtesy of en:National Aeronautics and Space Administration en:Jet Propulsion Laboratory en:California Institute of Technology.

Description: This set of four images from the en:Spitzer Space Telescope was released on en:December 19, en:2003 to demonstrate successful operation of the space-based infrared observatory.

Resembling a creature on the run with flames streaming behind it, the en:Spitzer Space Telescope image of a en:dark globule in the en:emission nebula en:IC 1396 is in spectacular contrast to the view seen in en:visible light. Spitzer's en:infrared detectors unveiled the brilliant hidden interior of this opaque cloud of gas and dust for the first time, exposing never-before-seen young stars.

The dusty, star-studded arms of a nearby en:spiral galaxy, en:Messier 81, are illuminated in a Spitzer image. Red regions in the spiral arms represent infrared emissions from dustier parts of the galaxy where new stars are forming. The image shows the power of Spitzer to explore regions invisible in optical light, and to study star formation on a galactic scale.

Spitzer revealed, in its entirety, a massive disc of dusty debris encircling the nearby star en:Fomalhaut. Such debris discs are the leftover material from the building of a planetary system. While other telescopes have imaged the outer Fomalhaut disc, none was able to provide a full picture of the inner region. Spitzer's ability to detect dust at various temperatures allows it to fill in this missing gap, providing astronomers with insight into the evolution of planetary systems.

Data from Spitzer of the young star HH 46-IR, and from a distant galaxy 3.25 billion light-years away, show the presence of water and small organic molecules not only in the here and now, but, for the first time, far back in time when life on Earth first emerged.

Date 2003-12-19 (first version); 2004-03-15 (last version)
Source Originally from en.wikipedia; description page is/was here.
Author Original uploader was Enceladus at en.wikipedia Later versions were uploaded by Minesweeper at en.wikipedia.
Permission
(Reusing this file)

PD-USGOV-NASA.

Licensing

Public domain This file is in the public domain because it was created by NASA. NASA copyright policy states that "NASA material is not protected by copyright unless noted". (See Template:PD-USGov, NASA copyright policy page or JPL Image Use Policy.)

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Original upload log

(All user names refer to en.wikipedia)

  • 2004-03-15 20:13 Minesweeper 627×628×8 (99496 bytes) larger
  • 2003-12-19 08:18 Enceladus 250×250×8 (22829 bytes) First images from SST


Licensing:
Public Domain

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