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Astronomers have uncovered patterns of light that appear to be from the first stars and galaxies that formed in the universe. The light patterns were hidden within a strip of sky observed by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.
Astronomers have uncovered patterns of light that appear to be from the first stars and galaxies that formed in the universe. The light patterns were hidden within a strip of sky observed by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

Hidden Patterns of Light Revealed by Spitzer

This image composite shows a warped and magnified view of a galaxy discovered by the Herschel Space Observatory, one of five such galaxies uncovered by the infrared telescope. The galaxy, referred to as 'SDP 81' is the yellow dot in the left image.
This image composite shows a warped and magnified view of a galaxy discovered by the Herschel Space Observatory, one of five such galaxies uncovered by the infrared telescope. The galaxy, referred to as 'SDP 81' is the yellow dot in the left image.

Analyzing the Pieces of a Warped Galaxy

The big blob-like structure shown here, named Himiko after the legendary ancient queen of Japan, turns out to be three galaxies thought to be in the process of merging into one.
The big blob-like structure shown here, named Himiko after the legendary ancient queen of Japan, turns out to be three galaxies thought to be in the process of merging into one.

Three-headed Galactic Blob

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer's large field of view and multi-wavelength infrared sight allowed it to form this complete view of the cluster, containing dozens of bright galaxies and hundreds of smaller ones.
NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer's large field of view and multi-wavelength infrared sight allowed it to form this complete view of the cluster, containing dozens of bright galaxies and hundreds of smaller ones.

Fornax Galaxy Cluster

A plot of the transmission spectrum for exoplanet HAT-P-11b, with data from NASA's Kepler, Hubble and Spitzer observatories combined. The results show a robust detection of water absorption in the Hubble data.
A plot of the transmission spectrum for exoplanet HAT-P-11b, with data from NASA's Kepler, Hubble and Spitzer observatories combined. The results show a robust detection of water absorption in the Hubble data.

Transmission Spectrum of HAT-P-11b

This image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows a computer simulation of the planet HD 80606b from an observer located at a point in space lying between the Earth and the HD 80606 system.
This image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows a computer simulation of the planet HD 80606b from an observer located at a point in space lying between the Earth and the HD 80606 system.

Tour of Planet with Extreme Temperature Swings

This painterly portrait of a star-forming cloud, called NGC 346, is a combination of multiwavelength light from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, the European Southern Observatory's New Technology Telescope, and the European Space Agency.
This painterly portrait of a star-forming cloud, called NGC 346, is a combination of multiwavelength light from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, the European Southern Observatory's New Technology Telescope, and the European Space Agency.

Stellar Work of Art

This diagram illustrates the earliest journeys of water in a young, forming star system. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope was able to probe a crucial phase of this stellar evolution.
This diagram illustrates the earliest journeys of water in a young, forming star system. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope was able to probe a crucial phase of this stellar evolution.

Steamy Solar System

This artist's concept shows the searing-hot gas planet WASP-12b (orange orb) and its star. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope discovered that the planet has more carbon than oxygen, making it the first carbon-rich planet ever observed.
This artist's concept shows the searing-hot gas planet WASP-12b (orange orb) and its star. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope discovered that the planet has more carbon than oxygen, making it the first carbon-rich planet ever observed.

Hot, Carbon-Rich Planet (Artist Concept)

ESA's Herschel Space Observatory captured asteroid Apophis in its field of view during the approach to Earth on Jan. 5 and 6, 2013.
ESA's Herschel Space Observatory captured asteroid Apophis in its field of view during the approach to Earth on Jan. 5 and 6, 2013.

Herschel's Three-Color View of Asteroid Apophis

These postage-stamp images taken by NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer are helping to solve a mystery -- why do the littlest of galaxies produce the biggest of star explosions, or supernovae?
These postage-stamp images taken by NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer are helping to solve a mystery -- why do the littlest of galaxies produce the biggest of star explosions, or supernovae?

Little Galaxies Pack a Big Punch

This image taken with the Palomar Observatory's Hale Telescope, shows the light from three planets orbiting a star 120 light-years away. The planets' star, called HR8799, is located at the spot marked with an 'X.'
This image taken with the Palomar Observatory's Hale Telescope, shows the light from three planets orbiting a star 120 light-years away. The planets' star, called HR8799, is located at the spot marked with an 'X.'

Portrait of Distant Planets

This image is an all-sky infrared map consisting of data taken by previous missions: the Infrared Astronomical Satellite; NASA's Cosmic Background Explorer; and the Two-Micron All-Sky Survey.
This image is an all-sky infrared map consisting of data taken by previous missions: the Infrared Astronomical Satellite; NASA's Cosmic Background Explorer; and the Two-Micron All-Sky Survey.

WISE Eyes the Whole Sky

NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer is celebrates its fourth year in space with some of M81's 'hottest' stars. In this ultraviolet image, the magnificent M81 spiral galaxy is shown at the center.
NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer is celebrates its fourth year in space with some of M81's 'hottest' stars. In this ultraviolet image, the magnificent M81 spiral galaxy is shown at the center.

Galaxy Mission Completes Four Star-Studded Years in Space

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has imaged an unusual edge-on galaxy, revealing remarkable details of its warped dusty disc and showing how colliding galaxies trigger the birth of new stars.
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has imaged an unusual edge-on galaxy, revealing remarkable details of its warped dusty disc and showing how colliding galaxies trigger the birth of new stars.

Edge-on Galaxy

Observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope provide strong evidence that the slender, bulgeless galaxies can, like their chubbier counterparts, harbor supermassive black holes at their cores in this artist concept.
Observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope provide strong evidence that the slender, bulgeless galaxies can, like their chubbier counterparts, harbor supermassive black holes at their cores in this artist concept.

Galaxies of all Shapes Host Black Holes (Artist Concept)

This frame from an animation based on NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope data  illustrates an unexpected warm spot on the surface of a gaseous exoplanet. The bright orange patches are the hottest part of the planet.
This frame from an animation based on NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope data  illustrates an unexpected warm spot on the surface of a gaseous exoplanet. The bright orange patches are the hottest part of the planet.

Weird Warm Spot on Exoplanet

The entire sky as mapped by NASA's WISE at infrared wavelengths is shown here, with an artist's concept of the WISE satellite superimposed.
The entire sky as mapped by NASA's WISE at infrared wavelengths is shown here, with an artist's concept of the WISE satellite superimposed.

A WISE 'Eye' on the Whole Sky

This ESA Herschel image shows IRC+10216, also known as CW Leonis, a star rich in carbon where astronomers were surprised to find water. This color-coded image shows the star, surrounded by a clumpy envelope of dust.
This ESA Herschel image shows IRC+10216, also known as CW Leonis, a star rich in carbon where astronomers were surprised to find water. This color-coded image shows the star, surrounded by a clumpy envelope of dust.

Water Around a Carbon Star

Kepler-7b (right), which is 1.5 times the radius of Jupiter (left), is the first exoplanet to have its clouds mapped. The cloud map was produced using data from NASA's Kepler and Spitzer space telescopes.
Kepler-7b (right), which is 1.5 times the radius of Jupiter (left), is the first exoplanet to have its clouds mapped. The cloud map was produced using data from NASA's Kepler and Spitzer space telescopes.

Partially Cloudy Skies on Kepler-7b (Artist Concept)

This diagram shows findings of results of observations made primarily by NASA's Spitzer Telescopes and the Very Large Array radio telescope and illuminates new details about a celestial 'sandbar' connecting two massive islands of galaxies.
This diagram shows findings of results of observations made primarily by NASA's Spitzer Telescopes and the Very Large Array radio telescope and illuminates new details about a celestial 'sandbar' connecting two massive islands of galaxies.

Bent Galactic Jets

An infrared photo of the Small Magellanic Cloud taken by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope is shown in this artist's illustration; an example of a planetary nebula, and a magnified depiction of buckyballs.
An infrared photo of the Small Magellanic Cloud taken by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope is shown in this artist's illustration; an example of a planetary nebula, and a magnified depiction of buckyballs.

Extragalactic Space Balls (Artist Concept)

This artist's concept shows hundreds of brown dwarfs (deep red), expected to be added to the population of known stars in our solar neighborhood. Our sun and other known stars appear white, yellow or red.
This artist's concept shows hundreds of brown dwarfs (deep red), expected to be added to the population of known stars in our solar neighborhood. Our sun and other known stars appear white, yellow or red.

Coolest Orbs on the Block (Artist's Concept)

The new AllWISE catalog will bring distant galaxies that were once invisible out of hiding, as illustrated in this image. At right, a portion of the sky available before the AllWISE project; at left, the same part of the sky in a new AllWISE image.
The new AllWISE catalog will bring distant galaxies that were once invisible out of hiding, as illustrated in this image. At right, a portion of the sky available before the AllWISE project; at left, the same part of the sky in a new AllWISE image.

AllWISE Brings Galaxies Out of Hiding

This graph of data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows how astronomers located a hot spot on a distant gas planet named upsilon Andromedae b. Termed an exoplanet, it orbits a star beyond our sun, and whips around very closely to its star.
This graph of data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows how astronomers located a hot spot on a distant gas planet named upsilon Andromedae b. Termed an exoplanet, it orbits a star beyond our sun, and whips around very closely to its star.

How to Find a Planetary Hot Spot

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