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The color scale in this image from the Planck mission represents the emission from dust, a minor but crucial component that pervades our Milky Way galaxy. The texture indicates the orientation of the galactic magnetic field.
The color scale in this image from the Planck mission represents the emission from dust, a minor but crucial component that pervades our Milky Way galaxy. The texture indicates the orientation of the galactic magnetic field.

Planck's View of BICEP2/Keck Array Field

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 diagram illustrates two similar star systems, HD 95086 and HR 8799. Evidence from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has pointed to the presence of two dust belts in each system.
This diagram illustrates two similar star systems, HD 95086 and HR 8799. Evidence from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has pointed to the presence of two dust belts in each system.

Sibling Star Systems? Dust Structures Suggest So

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

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 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

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

ESA's Planck mission has imaged the oldest light in our universe. The top map shows Planck's all-sky map of the cosmic microwave background, whereas the bottom map shows the largest-scale features of the map.
ESA's Planck mission has imaged the oldest light in our universe. The top map shows Planck's all-sky map of the cosmic microwave background, whereas the bottom map shows the largest-scale features of the map.

Peculiar Features in Patterns of Ancient Light

The tightly packed system, named Kepler-444, is home to five small planets in very compact orbits. The planets were detected from the dimming that occurs when they transit the disk of their parent star, as shown in this artist's conception.
The tightly packed system, named Kepler-444, is home to five small planets in very compact orbits. The planets were detected from the dimming that occurs when they transit the disk of their parent star, as shown in this artist's conception.

Kepler-444 Planetary System (Artist Concept)

Astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope found evidence that such quasar winds might have forged these dusty particles in the very early universe.
Astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope found evidence that such quasar winds might have forged these dusty particles in the very early universe.

Dust in the Quasar Wind (Artist Concept)

NASA's Great Observatories continue Galileo's legacy with stunning images and breakthrough science from the Hubble Space Telescope, the Spitzer Space Telescope, and the Chandra X-ray Observatory.
NASA's Great Observatories continue Galileo's legacy with stunning images and breakthrough science from the Hubble Space Telescope, the Spitzer Space Telescope, and the Chandra X-ray Observatory.

NASA's Great Observatories Celebrate the International Year of Astronomy

This is an image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope of stars and galaxies in the Ursa Major constellation. This infrared image covers a region of space so large that light would take up to 100 million years to travel across it.
This is an image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope of stars and galaxies in the Ursa Major constellation. This infrared image covers a region of space so large that light would take up to 100 million years to travel across it.

The Universe's First Fireworks

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has, for the first time, detected tiny quartz-like crystals sprinkled in young planetary systems. The crystals, which are types of silica minerals called cristobalite and tridymite.
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has, for the first time, detected tiny quartz-like crystals sprinkled in young planetary systems. The crystals, which are types of silica minerals called cristobalite and tridymite.

Quartz-like Crystals Found in Planetary Disks

Something appears to be peering through a shiny red mask, in this new false-colored image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. The mysterious blue eyes are actually starlight from the cores of two merging galaxies, called NGC 2207 and IC 2163.
Something appears to be peering through a shiny red mask, in this new false-colored image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. The mysterious blue eyes are actually starlight from the cores of two merging galaxies, called NGC 2207 and IC 2163.

Ready for the Cosmic Ball

The 'Ghost of Mirach' galaxy is shown in visible light on the left, and in ultraviolet as seen by NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer on the right. The fields of view are identical in both pictures, with the Ghost of Mirach -— a galaxy called NGC 404.
The 'Ghost of Mirach' galaxy is shown in visible light on the left, and in ultraviolet as seen by NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer on the right. The fields of view are identical in both pictures, with the Ghost of Mirach -— a galaxy called NGC 404.

'Ghost of Mirach' Rears its Spooky Head

This is an artist's concept of a hypothetical 10-million-year-old star system. The bright blur at the center is a star much like our sun. The other orb in the image is a gas-giant planet like Jupiter.
This is an artist's concept of a hypothetical 10-million-year-old star system. The bright blur at the center is a star much like our sun. The other orb in the image is a gas-giant planet like Jupiter.

Gas Giants Form Quickly (Artist Concept)

This majestic false-color image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows 'mountains' where stars are born. These towering pillars of cool gas and dust are illuminated at their tips with light from warm embryonic stars.
This majestic false-color image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows 'mountains' where stars are born. These towering pillars of cool gas and dust are illuminated at their tips with light from warm embryonic stars.

Towering Infernos

This is the first Deep Imaging Survey image taken by NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer. On June 22 and 23, 2003, the spacecraft obtained this near ultraviolet image of the Groth region by adding multiple orbits for a total exposure time of 14,000 seconds.
This is the first Deep Imaging Survey image taken by NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer. On June 22 and 23, 2003, the spacecraft obtained this near ultraviolet image of the Groth region by adding multiple orbits for a total exposure time of 14,000 seconds.

Deep Imaging Survey

Observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope show that filamentary galaxies form stars at twice the rate of their densely clustered counterparts. This is a representation of galaxies in and surrounding a galaxy cluster called Abell 1763.
Observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope show that filamentary galaxies form stars at twice the rate of their densely clustered counterparts. This is a representation of galaxies in and surrounding a galaxy cluster called Abell 1763.

Celestial Cities and the Roads That Connect Them

This image shows two companion galaxies, NGC 4625 (top) and NGC 4618 (bottom), and their surrounding cocoons of cool hydrogen gas (purple). The huge set of spiral arms on NGC 4625 (blue) was discovered by the ultraviolet eyes of NASA's GALEX.
This image shows two companion galaxies, NGC 4625 (top) and NGC 4618 (bottom), and their surrounding cocoons of cool hydrogen gas (purple). The huge set of spiral arms on NGC 4625 (blue) was discovered by the ultraviolet eyes of NASA's GALEX.

Galactic Halos of Hydrogen

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