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Keyword: spitzertelescope

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  • Spitzer Sees the Aftermath of a Planetary Collision

    01/13/2005 8:50:18 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 23 replies · 1,862+ views
    Universe Today ^ | Jan. 10, 2005 | Dolores Beasley and Gay Yee Hill
    NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has found a dusty ring of material orbiting nearby Vega which was probably the result of a series of protoplanets smashing into each other. Vega is the fifth brightest star in the sky, located only 25 light-years away in the constellation of Lyra. This dust is constantly being blown out by Vega's intense radiation, so it's unlikely that the star has had this much dust for its entire lifetime. Instead, this ring must have been formed recently, perhaps when a Pluto-sized object was pulverized within the last million years or so.
  • Wild Solar System Spotted Around Distant Star

    11/10/2009 6:03:09 PM PST · by KevinDavis · 7 replies · 529+ views ^ | 11/10/09
    A young star observed by the Spitzer Space Telescope appears to be home to a wild – and young – planetary system that shares some of the frenetic dynamics thought to have shaped the early years of our own solar system. The Spitzer observations suggest young planets circling the star are disturbing smaller comet-like bodies, causing them to collide and kick up a huge halo of dust.
  • Finding ET in the Data (Hunt for Dyson spheres heats up)

    04/17/2013 9:10:14 AM PDT · by LibWhacker · 33 replies
    Centauri Dreams ^ | 4/17/13 | Paul Gilster
    Finding ET in the Data by Paul Gilster on April 17, 2013 As we saw yesterday, the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) has been the source of data for a number of searches for unusual infrared signatures. The idea is to look for the artifacts of advanced extraterrestrial civilizations, under the assumption that a sufficiently advanced culture will be capable of engineering projects that could be detected from light years away. A Dyson sphere, existing either as a completely enclosed star or as a swarm of artifacts around a star, is but one example of such engineering, but it’s a sensible...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- 21st Century M101

    07/13/2012 4:12:38 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 3 replies
    NASA ^ | July 13, 2012 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: One of the last entries in Charles Messier's famous catalog, big, beautiful spiral galaxy M101 is definitely not one of the least. About 170,000 light-years across, this galaxy is enormous, almost twice the size of our own Milky Way Galaxy. M101 was also one of the original spiral nebulae observed with Lord Rosse's large 19th century telescope, the Leviathan of Parsontown. In contrast, this mulitwavelength view of the large island universe is a composite of images recorded by space-based telescopes in the 21st century. Color coded From X-rays to infrared wavelengths (high to low energies), the image data was...
  • Subaru-Led Team Discovers a Rare Stellar Disk of Quartz Dust

    05/20/2012 8:19:33 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 3 replies
    Space Daily ^ | Wednesday, May 9, 2012 | Staff Writers
    Based on observations with the AKARI and Spitzer infrared space telescopes, this recently discovered, intriguing feature of a stellar system may open new doors for research on the mineralogical nature of extrasolar planetary systems... The team of scientists led by Dr. Fujiwara conducted research exploring this new frontier and concentrated their efforts on finding debris disks that could indicate planet formation. According to a widely accepted recent scenario of planet formation, rocky planets like the Earth begin as an aggregation of cosmic dust and then continued their development as an accumulation of planetesimals, rocky planetary building blocks, around young stars....
  • Weird World! 'Oozing' Alien Planet Is a Super-Earth Wonder [ 55 Cancri e ]

    01/21/2012 5:43:56 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 29 replies ^ | Friday, January 20, 2012 | Staff
    A new look at an alien planet that orbits extremely close to its parent star suggests that the rocky world might not be a scorching hot wasteland, as was thought. In fact, the planet may actually be stranger and wetter than astronomers ever imagined. The exotic planet 55 Cancri e is a relatively close alien planet, just 40 light-years away from Earth in the constellation Cancer (The Crab). The super-dense world circles so close to its host star that it takes a mere 18 hours to complete one orbital lap. Using our solar system for comparison, 55 Cancri e is...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Spitzer's Orion

    09/17/2011 8:16:50 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 13 replies
    NASA ^ | September 17, 2011 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Few cosmic vistas excite the imagination like the Orion Nebula, an immense stellar nursery some 1,500 light-years away. This stunning false-color view spans about 40 light-years across the region, constructed using infrared data from the Spitzer Space Telescope. Compared to its visual wavelength appearance, the brightest portion of the nebula is likewise centered on Orion's young, massive, hot stars, known as the Trapezium Cluster. But the infrared image also detects the nebula's many protostars, still in the process of formation, seen here in red hues. In fact, red spots along the dark dusty filament to the left of the...
  • Spitzer Detects Shadow of 'Super-Earth' in Front of Nearby Star

    05/06/2011 7:21:02 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 36 replies ^ | May 5, 2011 | Staff
    NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has detected the crossing of a solid planet in front of a star located at only 42 light-years in the constellation Cancer. Thanks to this detection, astronomers know that this "super-Earth" measures 2.1 times the size of our Earth. This is the smallest exoplanet detected in the neighborhood of our Sun. The discovery is based on data acquired by the Spitzer spacecraft last January. The data allowed astronomers to detect the "transit" of the planet, i.e. the tiny decrease of the star's brightness occurring when the planet passes in front of it. "So far, the exquisite...
  • NASA's Spitzer Reveals First Carbon-Rich Planet

    12/09/2010 9:32:19 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 20 replies
    NASA / JPL ^ | December 08, 2010 | Whitney Clavin
    Astronomers have discovered that a huge, searing-hot planet orbiting another star is loaded with an unusual amount of carbon. The planet, a gas giant named WASP-12b, is the first carbon-rich world ever observed. The discovery was made using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, along with previously published ground-based observations. "This planet reveals the astounding diversity of worlds out there," said Nikku Madhusudhan of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, lead author of a report in the Dec. 9 issue of the journal Nature. "Carbon-rich planets would be exotic in every way -- formation, interiors and atmospheres." It's possible that WASP-12b might...
  • Spitzer Sheds Light on Colony of Baby Stars

    04/02/2010 3:11:12 PM PDT · by KevinDavis · 13 replies · 427+ views ^ | 04/01/10 | Ian O'Neill
    Deep inside the famous Orion Nebula, a colony of very young stars have been imaged by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. Although the observatory ran out of liquid helium coolant in May 2009, two modules inside its Infrared Array Camera (IRAC) remain fully operational, capturing wonderfully detailed pictures of Orion's star-forming region currently exploding with stellar life.
  • NASA's Spitzer spots clump of planet-forming material around young star

    09/27/2009 6:39:46 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies · 552+ views
    India Business Blog ^ | September 24, 2009 | ANI
    NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has... observed infrared light coming from one such disk around a young star, called LRLL 31, over a period of five months. To the astronomers' surprise, the light varied in unexpected ways, and in as little time as one week... One possible explanation is that a close companion to the star -- either a star or a developing planet -- could be shoving planet-forming material together, causing its thickness to vary as it spins around the star... said James Muzerolle of the Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Maryland[,] "This is a unique, real-time glimpse into the...
  • Eccentric Exoplanet Gets Hot Flashes [ HD 80606b ]

    02/03/2009 7:18:06 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 10 replies · 339+ views
    National Geographic News ^ | January 28, 2009 | Victoria Jaggard
    A distant Jupiter-like planet on an eccentric orbit swings so close to its parent star that its temperature spikes by about 1,260 degrees Fahrenheit (682 degrees Celsius) in only six hours... Then as rapidly as it heats up, the extrasolar planet cools back down after zipping past its star, said lead study author Gregory Laughlin, an astronomer at the University of California, Santa Cruz. The planet's path is unique, Laughlin noted. Most known "hot Jupiters" have tight, roughly circular orbits. They are tidally locked, showing only one face to their stars, just as the moon does to Earth... "But this...
  • Spitzer Captures Stellar Coming of Age in Our Galaxy

    06/05/2008 11:30:50 AM PDT · by decimon · 14 replies · 63+ views
    Jet Propulsion Laboratory ^ | Jun 3, 2008 | Unknown
    More than 800,000 snapshots from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have been stitched together to create a new "coming of age" portrait of stars in our inner Milky Way galaxy. The image depicts an area of sky 120 degrees wide by two degrees tall. It was unveiled today at the 212th meeting of the American Astronomical Society in St. Louis, Mo. "This is the highest-resolution, largest, most sensitive infrared picture ever taken of our Milky Way," said Sean Carey of NASA's Spitzer Science Center at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif. Carey is lead investigator for one of two teams...
  • The Milky Way Gets a Facelift

    06/04/2008 2:31:50 PM PDT · by neverdem · 24 replies · 109+ views
    ScienceNOW Daily News ^ | 03 June 2008 | Phil Berardelli
    Enlarge ImageFresh look.Recent surveys of the Milky Way show it contains a prominent central bar feature (bottom), distinguishing it from other galaxies of the classic spiral variety (top).Credit: (top) NASA/Spitzer Space telescope (bottom) NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt (SSC/Caltech) The Milky Way Gets a Facelift By Phil BerardelliScienceNOW Daily News03 June 2008Forget what you thought the Milky Way looked like. The galaxy is far from the simple and elegant spiral-armed structure so often portrayed. New observations, presented today at the 212th meeting of the American Astronomical Society in St. Louis, Missouri, reveal, among other things, that the Milky Way is missing two...
  • Farthest Galaxy Found, Perhaps (~13 billion light-years away, Hubble and Spitzer images)

    02/12/2008 12:49:07 PM PST · by NormsRevenge · 18 replies · 201+ views on Yahoo ^ | 2/12/08 | Clara Moskowitz
    Astronomers have glimpsed what may be the farthest galaxy we've ever seen, providing a picture of a baby galaxy born soon after the beginning of the universe. Images taken with the Hubble Space Telescope have revealed the galaxy at almost 13 billion light-years away, making it the strongest candidate for the most distant galaxy ever seen, said European Southern Observatory astronomer Piero Rosati, who helped make the discovery. Since the galaxy is so far away, its light took ages to reach us, so what we see now is a snapshot of how this galaxy looked 13 billion years ago. At...
  • Alien Light: Taking The Spectra Of Extrasolar Planets

    02/23/2007 4:13:43 PM PST · by blam · 1 replies · 317+ views
    Science News ^ | 2-23-2007 | Ron Cowen
    Alien Light: Taking the spectra of extrasolar planets Ron Cowen Astronomers have for the first time recorded the spectra of light emitted by two extrasolar planets. This achievement provides a new, direct way to analyze the atmosphere of alien worlds light-years from Earth. OBSCURED ORB. Clouds may sheathe the atmosphere of some extrasolar planets, masking the presence of water vapor at lower altitudes, as in this artist's depiction. JPL-Caltech/NASA Obtained by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, the infrared spectra represent a milestone in the study of distant planets, says David Charbonneau of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass. Both...
  • First Map of an Extrasolar Planet

    05/10/2007 7:45:46 PM PDT · by KevinDavis · 3 replies · 398+ views
    CFA ^ | 05/09/07
    First Map of an Extrasolar Planet Cambridge, MA - For the first time, astronomers have created a rough map of a planet orbiting a distant sun-like star, employing a technique that may one day enable mapping of Earth-like worlds. Since the planet just charted is a gas giant and lacks a solid surface, the map shows cloud-top features. Using the Spitzer infrared space telescope, astronomers detected a bright hot spot that is offset from "high noon," where heating is greatest. "We are getting our first good look at a completely alien world," said Heather Knutson, a graduate student at Harvard...
  • Young Planet Challenges Old Theories [from 2004]

    03/04/2007 9:06:58 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 2 replies · 220+ views
    Astrobiology ^ | May 28, 2004 | Leslie Mullen
    The star CoKu Tau 4 is surrounded by a dusty disc, which is typical of very young stars. A star is born inside a dense cloud of gas and dust. Within this cloudy envelope, a flat, dusty disc encircles the star, and planets develop from the material in this disc. Spitzer's infrared spectrograph (IRS) observed a clearing in the dusty disc around CoKu Tau 4. The clearing is about 10 AU in size, or 10 times the Earth-Sun distance. The theory is that a planet orbiting CoKu Tau 4 at about 10 AU scooped up much of the inner disc...
  • Spitzer Sees Light From Faraway Worlds

    02/21/2007 9:46:38 PM PST · by neverdem · 19 replies · 597+ views
    RedOrbit ^ | 2007/02/21 | NA
    Spitzer Sees Light From Faraway Worlds NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has captured for the first time enough light from planets outside our solar system, known as exoplanets, to identify signatures of molecules in their atmospheres. The landmark achievement is a significant step toward being able to detect possible life on rocky exoplanets and comes years before astronomers had anticipated. "This is an amazing surprise," said Spitzer project scientist Dr. Michael Werner of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. "We had no idea when we designed Spitzer that it would make such a dramatic step in characterizing exoplanets." Spitzer, a...
  • Waterless planets surprise astronomers

    02/21/2007 11:40:53 AM PST · by NormsRevenge · 63 replies · 1,487+ views
    AP on Yahoo ^ | 2/21/07 | Seth Borenstein - ap
    WASHINGTON - Scientists taking their first "sniffs of air" from planets outside our solar system are a bit baffled by what they didn't find: water. One of the more basic assumptions of astronomy is that the two distant, hot gaseous planets they examined must contain water in their atmospheres. The two suns the planets orbit closely have hydrogen and oxygen, the stable building blocks of water. These planets' atmospheres — examined for the first time using light spectra to determine the air's chemical composition — are supposed to be made up of the same thing, good old H2O. But when...