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Gallery: The Infrared Universe Seen by Spitzer Telescope

Wild Solar System Spotted Around Distant Star

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Ariz.

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.

Clue Found to Origin of Cosmic Misfits

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Calar Alto Obsv./Caltech Sub. Obsv.

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.

Spiral Galaxy Spider Web

NASA/JPL-Caltech

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.

Green Nebula Ring

NASA/JPL-Caltech

This glowing emerald nebula seen by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope is reminiscent of the glowing ring wielded by the superhero Green Lantern.

Crystal Rain Star

NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Toledo

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.

Large Magellanic Cloud as Seen by Herschel and Spitzer

ESA/NASA/JPL-Caltech/STScI

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.

Building a Buckyball Particle in Space

NASA/JPL-Caltech

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.

Buckyballs in Space

NASA/JPL-Caltech

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.

Stars Brewing in Cygnus X

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Harvard-Smithsonia CfA

A bubbling cauldron of star birth, Cygnus X, is highlighted in this new image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

Snowflake Cluster and Cone Nebula

NASA

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.

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