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These  images from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, taken one year apart, show the supernova remnant Cassiopeia A (yellow ball) and surrounding clouds of dust (reddish orange).
These  images from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, taken one year apart, show the supernova remnant Cassiopeia A (yellow ball) and surrounding clouds of dust (reddish orange).

A Year in the Life of an Infrared Echo

NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer discovered an exceptionally long comet-like tail of material trailing behind Mira -- a star that has been studied thoroughly for about 400 years.
NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer discovered an exceptionally long comet-like tail of material trailing behind Mira -- a star that has been studied thoroughly for about 400 years.

Mira's Tail There All Along

This illustration compares the size of a gargantuan star and its surrounding dusty disk (top) to that of our solar system. Monstrous disks like this one were discovered around two 'hypergiant' stars by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.
This illustration compares the size of a gargantuan star and its surrounding dusty disk (top) to that of our solar system. Monstrous disks like this one were discovered around two 'hypergiant' stars by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

Supersized Disk (Artist's Concept)

This artist's image illustrates vibrating buckyballs -- spherical molecules of carbon discovered in space for the first time by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.
This artist's image illustrates vibrating buckyballs -- spherical molecules of carbon discovered in space for the first time by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

Buckyballs Jiggle Like Jello (Artist Concept)

This infrared data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope -- called a spectrum -- tells astronomers that a distant gas planet, a so-called
This infrared data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope -- called a spectrum -- tells astronomers that a distant gas planet, a so-called

Cracking the Code of Faraway Worlds

From sparkling blue rings to dazzling golden disks and mined from NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer Survey of Nearby Galaxies data, these cosmic gems were collected with the telescope's sensitive ultraviolet instruments.
From sparkling blue rings to dazzling golden disks and mined from NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer Survey of Nearby Galaxies data, these cosmic gems were collected with the telescope's sensitive ultraviolet instruments.

GALEX Distributes Local Galactic Treasures at AAS

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope set its infrared eyes on an extraordinarily low-mass brown dwarf called OTS 44 and found a swirling disc of planet-building dust shown in this artist concept.
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope set its infrared eyes on an extraordinarily low-mass brown dwarf called OTS 44 and found a swirling disc of planet-building dust shown in this artist concept.

'Mini-Me' Solar System (Artist Concept)

Resembling the hair in Botticelli's famous portrait of the birth of Venus, an image from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has captured softly glowing filaments streaming from hot young stars in a nearby nebula.
Resembling the hair in Botticelli's famous portrait of the birth of Venus, an image from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has captured softly glowing filaments streaming from hot young stars in a nearby nebula.

N44C nebula

A colorful image showing violent star formation triggered when two galaxies bumped into each other has been captured by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.
A colorful image showing violent star formation triggered when two galaxies bumped into each other has been captured by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

Galaxy M82

A lumpy bubble of hot gas rises from a cauldron of glowing matter in a distant galaxy, as seen by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.
A lumpy bubble of hot gas rises from a cauldron of glowing matter in a distant galaxy, as seen by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

Galaxy NGC 3079

This graphic shows the computer simulation of a black hole from start to finish. Plasma is falling slowly toward the black hole in a (at the upper left). The plasma has a magnetic field, shown by the white lines.
This graphic shows the computer simulation of a black hole from start to finish. Plasma is falling slowly toward the black hole in a (at the upper left). The plasma has a magnetic field, shown by the white lines.

Black Hole Simulation

NASA's NEOWISE mission captured images of Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring. The infrared pictures reveal a comet that is active and very dusty.
NASA's NEOWISE mission captured images of Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring. The infrared pictures reveal a comet that is active and very dusty.

NEOWISE Spies Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring

This artist's concept illustrates the hottest planet yet observed in the universe. The scorching ball of gas, a 'hot Jupiter' called HD 149026b, is about 3 times hotter than the rocky surface of Venus, the hottest planet in our solar system.
This artist's concept illustrates the hottest planet yet observed in the universe. The scorching ball of gas, a 'hot Jupiter' called HD 149026b, is about 3 times hotter than the rocky surface of Venus, the hottest planet in our solar system.

Blacker than Black (Artist's Concept)

These two data plots from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope show a primitive supermassive black hole (top) compared to a typical one; usually, dust tori are missing and only gas disks are observed in primitive black holes.
These two data plots from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope show a primitive supermassive black hole (top) compared to a typical one; usually, dust tori are missing and only gas disks are observed in primitive black holes.

How to Spot a Primitive Black Hole

In the quest to better understand the birth of stars and the formation of new worlds, astronomers have used NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope to examine the massive stars contained in a cloudy region called Sharpless 140.
In the quest to better understand the birth of stars and the formation of new worlds, astronomers have used NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope to examine the massive stars contained in a cloudy region called Sharpless 140.

A Natal Microcosm

This artist's animation shows a brown dwarf surrounded by a swirling disc of planet-building dust. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope spotted such a disc around a surprisingly low-mass brown dwarf, or 'failed star.'
This artist's animation shows a brown dwarf surrounded by a swirling disc of planet-building dust. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope spotted such a disc around a surprisingly low-mass brown dwarf, or 'failed star.'

Birth of an Unusual Planetary System (Artist Concept)

This plot illustrates the new population of 'hot DOGs,' or hot dust-obscured objects, found by WISE. The purple band represents the range of brightness observed for the extremely dusty objects.
This plot illustrates the new population of 'hot DOGs,' or hot dust-obscured objects, found by WISE. The purple band represents the range of brightness observed for the extremely dusty objects.

Analyzing Hot DOG Galaxies

The green and red splotch in this image is the most active star-making galaxy in the very distant universe. Nicknamed 'Baby Boom,' it was spotted 12.3 billion light-years away by a suite of telescopes, including NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.
The green and red splotch in this image is the most active star-making galaxy in the very distant universe. Nicknamed 'Baby Boom,' it was spotted 12.3 billion light-years away by a suite of telescopes, including NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

Super Starburst Galaxy

This artist's diagram compares our solar system (below) to the VB 10 star system. Astronomers successfully used the astrometry planet-hunting method for the first time to discover a gas planet, called VB 10b, around a very tiny star, VB 10.
This artist's diagram compares our solar system (below) to the VB 10 star system. Astronomers successfully used the astrometry planet-hunting method for the first time to discover a gas planet, called VB 10b, around a very tiny star, VB 10.

Bizarre Planetary System

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope caught a glimpse of the Cepheus constellation, thirty thousand light-years away; astronomers think they've found a massive star whose death barely made a peep.
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope caught a glimpse of the Cepheus constellation, thirty thousand light-years away; astronomers think they've found a massive star whose death barely made a peep.

The (Almost) Invisible Aftermath of a Massive Star's Death

This artist's concept illustrates a comet being torn to shreds around a dead star, or white dwarf, called G29-38. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope observed a cloud of dust around this white dwarf that may have been generated from comet disruption.
This artist's concept illustrates a comet being torn to shreds around a dead star, or white dwarf, called G29-38. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope observed a cloud of dust around this white dwarf that may have been generated from comet disruption.

Comet 'Bites the Dust' Around Dead Star (Artist Concept)

A group of six streaking objects,  the identities of which remain unknown, can be seen here flying across the telescope's sight in this image from NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer.
A group of six streaking objects,  the identities of which remain unknown, can be seen here flying across the telescope's sight in this image from NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer.

Surprise Ultraviolet Party in the Sky

This artist's concept depicts a distant hypothetical solar system, similar in age to our own. Looking inward from the system's outer fringes, a ring of dusty debris can be seen, and within it, planets circling a star the size of our Sun.
This artist's concept depicts a distant hypothetical solar system, similar in age to our own. Looking inward from the system's outer fringes, a ring of dusty debris can be seen, and within it, planets circling a star the size of our Sun.

A Distant Solar System (Artist's Concept)

Scientists are mystified by what may be unexpected, wandering, planet-sized objects.
This image taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope implies the presence of these objects.
Scientists are mystified by what may be unexpected, wandering, planet-sized objects.
This image taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope implies the presence of these objects.

Globular Cluster M22

This figure charts 30 hours of observations taken by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope of a strongly irradiated exoplanet (an planet orbiting a star beyond our own). Spitzer measured changes in the planet's heat, or infrared light.
This figure charts 30 hours of observations taken by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope of a strongly irradiated exoplanet (an planet orbiting a star beyond our own). Spitzer measured changes in the planet's heat, or infrared light.

Light from Red-Hot Planet

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