360 Degrees of Milky Way at Your Fingertips

by Bob King March 21, 2014

Touring the Milky Way’s a blast with this brand new 360-degree interactive panorama. More than 2 million infrared photos taken by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope were jigsawed into a 20-gigapixel click-and-zoom mosaic that takes the viewer from tangled nebulae to stellar jets to blast bubbles around supergiant stars.  

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Runaway Star Shocks the Galaxy!

by Jason Major February 21, 2014

That might seem like a sensational headline worthy of a supermarket tabloid but, taken in context, it’s exactly what’s happening here! The bright blue star at the center of this image is a B-type supergiant named Kappa Cassiopeiae, 4,000 light-years away. As stars in our galaxy go it’s pretty big — over 57 million kilometers wide, […]

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Astronomers Catch a Galactic Threesome in the Act

by Jason Major November 22, 2013

An enormous and incredibly luminous distant galaxy has turned out to actually be three galaxies in the process of merging together, based on the latest observations from ALMA as well as the Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes. Located 13 billion light-years away, this galactic threesome is being seen near the very beginning of what astronomers call […]

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How Spitzer’s Focus Changed To Strange New Worlds

by Elizabeth Howell September 25, 2013

After 10 years in space — looking at so many galaxies and stars and other astronomy features — the Spitzer Space Telescope is being deployed for new work: searching for alien worlds. The telescope is designed to peer in infrared light (see these examples!), the wavelength in which heat is visible. When looking at infrared […]

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“Oddball” Asteroid is Really a Comet

by Jason Major September 10, 2013

It’s a case of mistaken identity: a near-Earth asteroid with a peculiar orbit turns out not to be an asteroid at all, but a comet… and not some Sun-dried burnt-out briquette either but an actual active comet containing rock and dust as well as CO2 and water ice. The discovery not only realizes the true nature of […]

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