This infrared image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows the Orion nebula, the closest massive star-making factory to Earth.
Artist's view of the Spitzer Space Telescope against the infrared sky. The band of light is the glowing dust emission from the Milky Way galaxy seen at 100 microns (as seen by the IRAS/COBE missions). Spitzer looks towards the Rho Ophiuchi star-formation region looming just above the disk of the Milky Way.
A section of the largest image of the Milky Way ever created. It was stitched together from 800,000 individual infrared images taken by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.
False-color image taken by Spitzer: Blue glow around Cas A is material heated by forward shock wave. Green, yellow and red is material heated by reverse wave.
The nearly edge-on galaxy NGC 5746 is partially obscured in visible-light photographs, making accurate classification impossible. This image from the Spitzer Space Telescope reveals the galaxy's true nature, showing a dramatic ring of warm dust surrounding the galaxy's bright nucleus.
Spitzer image of the Mountains of Creation, or W5, in infrared. Inset shows visible light view of same region.
In the Spitzer image of NGC 1097, infrared light with shorter wavelengths is blue, while longer-wavelength light is red.
An infrared image of the region in the Scutum constellation where the massive star cluster containing the red supergiants (inset) was discovered.
A new image from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and Spitzer Space Telescope shows the dusty remains of a collapsed star. The composite image of G54.1+0.3 shows X-rays from Chandra in blue, and data from Spitzer in green (shorter wavelength infrared) and red-yellow (longer wavelength infrared). Scientists think that a pulsar (the white source in the center) is sending off a wind that is heating up remnant supernova dust.
A false-color mosaic of the Coma cluster reveals thousands of new faint objects (green), many of which belong to the cluster. The mosaic combines visible-light data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (color coded blue) with long- and short-wavelength infrared views (red and green, respectively) from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.
In this composite image of spiral galaxy M106, optical data is shown as yellow, radio data from the Very Large Array appears as purple, X-ray data from Chandra is coded blue and infrared data from the Spitzer Space Telescope appears red. The anomalous arms appear as purple and blue emission.
Comet 73P/Schwassman-Wachmann 3 image from taken from May 4 to 6 shows at least distinct 36 fragments.
Thursday, February 17, 2011: NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows a new infrared view of the North American nebula — but where's the continent? Since infrared light can penetrate dust, while visible light cannot, the picture of the nebula that usually resembles the continent of North America (see image for comparison) changes completely. Dusty, dark clouds in the visible image vanish in Spitzer's view. In addition, Spitzer's infrared detectors display the glow of dusty cocoons enveloping baby stars. Clusters of young stars (about one million years old) appear throughout the image.
In this spectacular image, observations using infrared light and X-ray light see through the obscuring dust and reveal the intense activity near the galactic core of the Milky Way. The image combines pictures from the Hubble Space Telescope, Spitzer Space Telescope and Chandra X-ray Observatory.
The top image in this infrared composite shot from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope highlights the contrast between the galaxy's choppy waves of dust (red) and smooth sea of older stars (blue). The panels below the main image show the galaxy's dust (left) and older stars (right) separately.
Color composite image of the Pleiades star cluster and surrounding region produced by Inseok Song of the Spitzer Science Center. The image was created by combining B, R and I band images from individual second generation Digital Sky Survey images into blue, green and red image layers, respectively. The location of HD 23514 is shown by the yellow arrow.
A powerful jet from a supermassive black hole is blasting a nearby galaxy in the system known as 3C321, according to new results from NASA. This galactic violence, never seen before, could have a profound effect on any planets in the path of the jet and trigger a burst of star formation in the wake of its destruction.
A fuzzy image from the SCUBA camera (left), and the corresponding view from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope (right). The galaxy emitting the radiation detected by SCUBA is shown with an arrow. Astronomers believe the radiation is generated in violent starbursts.
M17, or the Swan nebula.
The yellow circles show the young stars that were detected in the chaotic environment at the Milky Way's center.
These images are some of the first to be taken during Spitzer's warm mission. At left is a cloud, known as DR22, bursting with new stars in the Cygnus region of the sky. The picture at upper right shows a relatively calm galaxy called NGC 4145. The final picture at lower right shows a dying star called NGC 4361.
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope captured this infrared image of a giant halo of very fine dust around the young star HR 8799, located 129 light-years away in the constellation Pegasus. The brightest parts of this dust cloud (yellow-white) likely come from the outer cold disk similar to our own Kuiper belt (beyond Neptune's orbit). The huge extended dust halo is seen as orange-red.
This image shows two young brown dwarfs, objects that fall somewhere between planets and stars in terms of their temperature and mass. Here we see a long sought-after view of these very young objects, labeled as A and B, which appear as closely-spaced purple-blue and orange-white dots at the very center of this image.
Looking like a spider's web swirled into a spiral, the galaxy IC 342 presents its delicate pattern of dust in this image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. Seen in infrared light, the faint starlight gives way to the glowing bright patterns of dust found throughout the galaxy's disk.
This glowing emerald nebula seen by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope is reminiscent of the glowing ring wielded by the superhero Green Lantern.
This image taken of the Orion nebula by NASA's infrared Spitzer Space Telescope shows the location of the infant star HOPS-68, which a new study reveals is subjected to a crystal rain of olivine minerals.
This new image shows the Large Magellanic Cloud galaxy in infrared light as seen by the Herschel Space Observatory and NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope.
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has detected the solid form of buckyballs in space for the first time. To form a solid particle, the buckyballs must stack together, as illustrated in this artist's concept showing the very beginnings of the process. The buckyball particles were spotted around a small, hot star -- a member of a pair of stars, called XX Ophiuchi, located 6,500 light-years from Earth.
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has detected the solid form of buckyballs in space for the first time. To form a solid particle, the buckyballs must stack together, as illustrated in this artist's concept showing the very beginnings of the process.
A bubbling cauldron of star birth, Cygnus X, is highlighted in this new image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.
Strange shapes and textures can be found in the neighborhood of the Cone Nebula. These patterns result from the tumultuous unrest that accompanies the formation of the open cluster of stars known as NGC 2264, the Snowflake Cluster. To better understand this process, a detailed image of this region was taken in two colors of infrared light by the orbiting Spitzer Space Telescope.
This artist's concept shows four extremely red galaxies that lie almost 13 billion light-years from Earth. Discovered using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, these galaxies appear to be physically associated and may be interacting. One galaxy shows signs of an active galactic nucleus, shown here as twin jets streaming out from a central black hole.
The Dumbbell Nebula, also known as Messier 27, pumps out infrared light in this image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.