Wednesday, December 07, 2005

National Geographic Shines Light on Spitzer Space Telescope

National Geographic Magazine has a nice little spread on the Spitzer Space Telescope this month. Their Web site offers a fully functional, interactive image, that lets you zoom in and out and all around a Spitzer panorama of a small section of the inner Milky Way, chock full of stars, gas clouds and star-forming regions.
Spitzer is a NASA/JPL/CalTech project, launched in 2003 on a 2.5 year mission to map hot spots in the galaxy. This information can then be integrated into other space images creating a more complete picture of what's out there.
This is the final mission in NASA's Great Observatories Program, which includes the Hubble (1990), the Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory (1991) and the Chandra X-Ray Observatory (1999.)

NASA next plans to employ a series of telescopes used specifically to find Earth-like planets.

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