Spitzer sees a star fac­tory in in­frared

All About Space - - Launch Pad -

NASA’s re­cently re­tired Spitzer Space Tele­scope was ca­pa­ble of re­veal­ing as­pects of space in­vis­i­ble to the hu­man eye. It was fix­ated on in­frared, ob­serv­ing in a wave­length longer than vis­i­ble light.

In this im­age, Spitzer honed in on ‘star fac­tory’ and neb­ula W51, which is home to a plethora of baby stars in the process of cre­at­ing plan­e­tary sys­tems like our own. Starlight from these stel­lar young­sters is of­ten blocked by sur­round­ing gas and dust but Spitzer was able to see through it, re­veal­ing ac­tiv­ity be­hind a cos­mic cur­tain.

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