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Posts tagged spitzer

Baked Exoplanet Gets Lab Treatment

Don’t get too excited, an exoplanet hasn’t really been captured from the cosmic wilds. And no, one of NASA’s boffins isn’t really taking a pair of tongs to the upper atmosphere of a strangely tiny “hot-Jupiter” being baked by a Bunsen burner. The doctored photo is actually a fun metaphor for this golden age of exoplanetary science. In particularly, it illustrates what one NASA space telescope is doing to understand the chemistry and dynamics of a particular Jupiter-sized exoplanet located some 385 light-years away.

Skeletal ‘Nessie’ Discovered in Our Galaxy: The image above, looking into the plane of the galaxy, shows a long thin strand of dark, cold material stretching between two brighter regions in the lower half — this is a segment of what’s being called a “bone” of the Milky Way, a part of the vast skeletal structure that forms its framework.

And the bone is nicknamed… wait for it… “Nessie.” I love astronomers.

What do you think? Is the term “super-Earth” misleading? Space blogger Amy Shira Teitel investigates a recent exoplanet discovery and concludes that being “super” is a matter of perspective.

Baby Stars Spied Throbbing Inside Orion

Looking like a blinding battle between opposing cosmic forces, this dazzling image shows a region of the Orion nebula as seen by NASA’s Spitzer and the European Space Agency’s Herschel space telescopes. The colors represent different wavelengths of infrared light emitted by infant stars as they heat up and cool down over the course of their energetic development.

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Image credit: NASA/ESA/JPL-Caltech/IRAM