Author Topic: Spitzer infra-red space telescope discoveries  (Read 3564 times)

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Rick

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NASA's Spitzer Sees Light of Lonesome Stars
« Reply #15 on: Oct 25, 2012, 08:01:52 »
NASA's Spitzer Sees Light of Lonesome Stars

 PASADENA, Calif. - A new study using data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope suggests a cause for the mysterious glow of infrared light seen across the entire sky. It comes from isolated stars beyond the edges of galaxies. These stars are thought to have once belonged to the galaxies before violent galaxy mergers stripped them away into the relatively empty space outside of their former homes.

"The infrared background glow in our sky has been a huge mystery," said Asantha Cooray of the University of California at Irvine, lead author of the new research published in the journal Nature. "We have new evidence this light is from the stars that linger between galaxies. Individually, the stars are too faint to be seen, but we think we are seeing their collective glow."

The findings disagree with another theory explaining the same background infrared light observed by Spitzer. A group led by Alexander "Sasha" Kashlinsky of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., proposed in June this light, which appears in Spitzer images as a blotchy pattern, is coming from the very first stars and galaxies.

More: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/spitzer/news/spitzer20121024.html

Rick

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NASA's Spitzer Puts Planets in a Petri Dish
« Reply #16 on: May 07, 2013, 05:46:13 »
NASA's Spitzer Puts Planets in a Petri Dish

Our galaxy is teeming with a wild variety of planets. In addition to our solar system's eight near-and-dear planets, there are more than 800 so-called exoplanets known to circle stars beyond our sun. One of the first "species" of exoplanets to be discovered is the hot Jupiters, also known as roasters. These are gas giants like Jupiters, but they orbit closely to their stars, blistering under the heat.

Thanks to NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, researchers are beginning to dissect this exotic class of planets, revealing raging winds and other aspects of their turbulent nature. A twist to come out of the recent research is the planets' wide range of climates. Some are covered with a haze, while others are clear. Their temperature profiles, chemistries and densities differ as well.

More: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2013-155

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NASA's Spitzer Telescope Witnesses Asteroid Smashup
« Reply #17 on: Aug 29, 2014, 08:34:17 »
NASA's Spitzer Telescope Witnesses Asteroid Smashup

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has spotted an eruption of dust around a young star, possibly the result of a smashup between large asteroids. This type of collision can eventually lead to the formation of planets.

Scientists had been regularly tracking the star, called NGC 2547-ID8, when it surged with a huge amount of fresh dust between August 2012 and January 2013.

"We think two big asteroids crashed into each other, creating a huge cloud of grains the size of very fine sand, which are now smashing themselves into smithereens and slowly leaking away from the star," said lead author and graduate student Huan Meng of the University of Arizona, Tucson.

While dusty aftermaths of suspected asteroid collisions have been observed by Spitzer before, this is the first time scientists have collected data before and after a planetary system smashup. The viewing offers a glimpse into the violent process of making rocky planets like ours.

More: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2014-291

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NASA's Spitzer Confirms Closest Rocky Exoplanet
« Reply #18 on: Aug 01, 2015, 09:12:53 »
NASA's Spitzer Confirms Closest Rocky Exoplanet

Using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, astronomers have confirmed the discovery of the nearest rocky planet outside our solar system, larger than Earth and a potential gold mine of science data.

Dubbed HD 219134b, this exoplanet, which orbits too close to its star to sustain life, is a mere 21 light-years away. While the planet itself can't be seen directly, even by telescopes, the star it orbits is visible to the naked eye in dark skies in the Cassiopeia constellation, near the North Star.

More: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=4672

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NASA Telescope Reveals Largest Batch of Earth-Size, Habitable-Zone Planets Around Single Star

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has revealed the first known system of seven Earth-size planets around a single star. Three of these planets are firmly located in the habitable zone, the area around the parent star where a rocky planet is most likely to have liquid water.

The discovery sets a new record for greatest number of habitable-zone planets found around a single star outside our solar system. All of these seven planets could have liquid water -- key to life as we know it -- under the right atmospheric conditions, but the chances are highest with the three in the habitable zone.

More: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=6756

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Scientists Improve Brown Dwarf Weather Forecasts
« Reply #20 on: Aug 19, 2017, 09:14:17 »
Scientists Improve Brown Dwarf Weather Forecasts

Dim objects called brown dwarfs, less massive than the Sun but more massive than Jupiter, have powerful winds and clouds -- specifically, hot patchy clouds made of iron droplets and silicate dust. Scientists recently realized these giant clouds can move and thicken or thin surprisingly rapidly, in less than an Earth day, but did not understand why.

Now, researchers have a new model for explaining how clouds move and change shape in brown dwarfs, using insights from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. Giant waves cause large-scale movement of particles in brown dwarfs' atmospheres, changing the thickness of the silicate clouds, researchers report in the journal Science. The study also suggests these clouds are organized in bands confined to different latitudes, traveling with different speeds in different bands.

"This is the first time we have seen atmospheric bands and waves in brown dwarfs," said lead author Daniel Apai, associate professor of astronomy and planetary sciences at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

More: https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=6925