Astronomy News

The Art of Exoplanets

Spitzer Space Telescope -

How do you visualize distant worlds that you can't see? IPAC's Robert Hurt and Tim Pyle are featured in a new video produced by JPL that highlights how they use scientific data to imagine exoplanets and other astrophysical phenomena.

5000 Days in the Life of an Astronomy Robot

Spitzer Space Telescope -

May 3rd, 2017 marks the 5,000th day of NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope mission. This video gives us a detailed look at six of these days, showing how an automated observatory like Spitzer, which is effectively an astronomy robot, spends its time. It’s overall mission design allows for an unprecedented degree of efficiency, allowing it to study the full range of astronomical phenomena including nearby objects in the solar system, stars in our galaxy, and galaxies out to the edge of the observable universe.

'Iceball' Planet Discovered Through Microlensing

Spitzer Space Telescope -

Scientists have discovered a new planet with the mass of Earth, orbiting its star at the same distance that we orbit our sun. The planet is likely far too cold to be habitable for life as we know it, however, because its star is so faint. But the discovery adds to scientists' understanding of the types of planetary systems that exist beyond our own.

Ancient Stardust Sheds Light on the First Stars

Spitzer Space Telescope -

Astronomers have detected a huge mass of glowing stardust in a galaxy seen when the universe was only 4 percent of its present age. This galaxy was observed shortly after its formation and is the most distant galaxy in which dust has been detected. This observation is also the most distant detection of oxygen in the universe.
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