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Spitzer

The Spitzer Space Telescope (formerly SIRTF, the Space Infrared Telescope Facility) was launched into space by a Delta rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida on 25 August 2003. During its mission, Spitzer will obtain images and spectra by detecting the infrared energy, or heat, radiated by objects in space between wavelengths of 3 and 180 microns (1 micron is one-millionth of a meter). Most of this infrared radiation is blocked by the Earth's atmosphere and cannot be observed from the ground.

Consisting of a 0.85-meter telescope and three cryogenically-cooled science instruments, Spitzer is the largest infrared telescope ever launched into space. Its highly sensitive instruments give us a unique view of the Universe and allow us to peer into regions of space which are hidden from optical telescopes. Many areas of space are filled with vast, dense clouds of gas and dust which block our view. Infrared light, however can penetrate these clouds, allowing us to peer into regions of star formation, the centers of galaxies, and into newly forming planetary systems. Infrared also brings us information about the cooler objects in space, such as smaller stars which are too dim to be detected by their visible light, extrasolar planets, and giant molecular clouds. Also, many molecules in space, including organic molecules, have their unique signatures in the infrared.

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James Bauer
James Bauer
Asteroids, Comets & Satellites
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Amy Mainzer
Amy Mainzer
Evolution of Galaxies
WISE Deputy Project Scientist
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Daniel Stern
Daniel Stern
Evolution of Galaxies
NuSTAR Project Scientist
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Michael Werner
Michael Werner
Directorate Science Affiliates
Chief Scientist for Astronomy and Physics (7X), Project Scientist - Spitzer Space Telescope
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C. Darren Dowell
C. Darren Dowell
Astronomical Instrumentation
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Charles Lawrence
Charles Lawrence
Relativistic Astrophysics
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Gary Prezeau
Gary Prezeau
Relativistic Astrophysics
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