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This picture highlights a slice of Saturn's largest ring. The ring (red band) was discovered by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, which detected infrared light, or heat, from the dusty ring material.
This picture highlights a slice of Saturn's largest ring. The ring (red band) was discovered by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, which detected infrared light, or heat, from the dusty ring material.

Infrared Ring around Saturn

The third closest star system to the sun, called WISE J104915.57-531906, center of large image, which was taken by NASA's WISE. It appeared to be a single object, but a sharper image from Gemini Observatory, revealed that it was binary star system.
The third closest star system to the sun, called WISE J104915.57-531906, center of large image, which was taken by NASA's WISE. It appeared to be a single object, but a sharper image from Gemini Observatory, revealed that it was binary star system.

Brown Dwarfs in our 'Backyard'

The magnetic field of our Milky Way galaxy as seen by ESA's Planck satellite. This image was compiled from the first all-sky observations of polarized light emitted by interstellar dust in the Milky Way.
The magnetic field of our Milky Way galaxy as seen by ESA's Planck satellite. This image was compiled from the first all-sky observations of polarized light emitted by interstellar dust in the Milky Way.

Magnetic Map of Milky Way

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope was able to show that a 'standard candle' used to measure cosmological distances is shrinking, a finding that affects precise measurements of the age, size and expansion rate of our universe.
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope was able to show that a 'standard candle' used to measure cosmological distances is shrinking, a finding that affects precise measurements of the age, size and expansion rate of our universe.

Standard Candle in the Wind

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 map illustrates the numerous star-forming clouds, called cold cores, that European Space Agency's Planck observed throughout our Milky Way galaxy. Planck detected around 10,000 of these cores, thousands of which had never been seen before.
This map illustrates the numerous star-forming clouds, called cold cores, that European Space Agency's Planck observed throughout our Milky Way galaxy. Planck detected around 10,000 of these cores, thousands of which had never been seen before.

Clumps of Cold Stuff Across the Sky

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 image from NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer shows the galaxy NGC 1291, located about 33 million light-years away in the constellation Eridanus. NGC 1291 is notable for its unusual inner bar and outer ring structure.
This image from NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer shows the galaxy NGC 1291, located about 33 million light-years away in the constellation Eridanus. NGC 1291 is notable for its unusual inner bar and outer ring structure.

NGC 1291

Located 10 million light-years away in the southern constellation Sculptor, the Silver Dollar galaxy, or NGC 253, is one of the brightest spiral galaxies in the night sky as seen in this edge-on view from NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer.
Located 10 million light-years away in the southern constellation Sculptor, the Silver Dollar galaxy, or NGC 253, is one of the brightest spiral galaxies in the night sky as seen in this edge-on view from NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer.

Triple Scoop from Galaxy Hunter

This composite image of asteroid 2007 PA8 was obtained using data taken by NASA's 230-foot-wide (70-meter) Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, Calif.
This composite image of asteroid 2007 PA8 was obtained using data taken by NASA's 230-foot-wide (70-meter) Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, Calif.

NASA Radar Images Asteroid 2007 PA8

This map of the entire sky was captured by the European Space Agency's Planck mission - The band running through the middle corresponds to dust in our Milky Way galaxy.
This map of the entire sky was captured by the European Space Agency's Planck mission - The band running through the middle corresponds to dust in our Milky Way galaxy.

Astronomers Dig Up Treasure Trove of Galaxy Clusters

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

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

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

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 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

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 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

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)

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 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

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

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