Science

Tarantula Nebula stuns in new view from the Spitzer Space Telescope

Tarantula Nebula stuns in new view from the Spitzer Space Telescope”

The signal, which would have reached Spitzer at approximately 2:11 pm, is the final step to dismantle the tireless observatory, which was first launched in 2003. When the shockwave collides with dust, the dust heats up and begins to radiate in infrared light.

'That region has a lot of interesting dust structures and a lot of star formation happening, ' said Werner.

'Those are both areas where infrared observatories can see a lot of things that you can't see in other wavelengths'.

This scope focuses on infrared light, which can reveal different characteristics of the universe from normal "visible" light, including objects that are too cold to emit visible light such as exoplanets, brown dwarfs - star-like bodies with insufficient mass to actually shine - or the cold material that is present between the stars.

Scientists use infrared observations to view newborn stars and still-forming "protostars", swaddled in the clouds of gas and dust from which they formed.

NASA has released the most enhanced and high-resolution capture of the Tarantula Nebula, which is still surrounded by a labyrinth of mysteries.

With an R136 and within a "starburst" region, the existence of enormous stars is extremely close by with rates greater than anything else in the galaxy according to the findings of NASA.

By contrast, there are no stars at all within one light-year of the Sun - the nearest is Proxima Centauri which is 4.3 light years away.

By detecting infrared light, with wavelengths ranging from about 700 nanometres - too small to see with the naked eye - to about a millimetre, Spitzer could help astronomers unveil the presence of cosmic entities which are too cold to emit much visible light, including planets outside our solar system, and cold matter found in the space between stars, the U.S. space agency noted.

The most iconic work of the Spitzer Space Telescope was the detection of seven planets orbiting the star named TRAPPIST-1, which was not among its original duties. It earned its nickname after it burned with the power of 100 million suns after exploding in a supernova.

Spitzer was created to study 'the cold, the old and the dusty, ' three things astronomers can observe particularly well in infrared light.

Spitzer's observation also helped in discovering the oldest galaxy we've ever found. "The advances we make across many areas in astrophysics in the future will be because of Spitzer's extraordinary legacy".

In addition to designing Spitzer's instrumentation, Rochester faculty also led the observatory's largest observational programs on star and planet formation, making a specialty of those which used the infrared spectrograph.

Still sending back breathtaking pictures, the Hubble Space Telescope rocketed into orbit in 1990 to observe the cosmos in visible and ultraviolet light; it will celebrate its 30th anniversary in April.



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