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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

This image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows the nasty effects of living near a group of massive stars: radiation and winds from the massive stars (white spot in center) are blasting planet-making material away from stars like our sun.
This image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows the nasty effects of living near a group of massive stars: radiation and winds from the massive stars (white spot in center) are blasting planet-making material away from stars like our sun.

Devastated Stellar Neighborhood

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

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

Planets having atmospheres rich in helium may be common in our galaxy, according to a new theory based on data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. This artist's concept depicts a proposed helium-atmosphere planet called GJ 436b.
Planets having atmospheres rich in helium may be common in our galaxy, according to a new theory based on data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. This artist's concept depicts a proposed helium-atmosphere planet called GJ 436b.

Helium-Shrouded Planets (Artist's Concept)

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)

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

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

Evidence from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer and Galaxy Evolution Explorer missions provide support for the 'inside-out' theory of galaxy evolution, which holds that star formation starts at the core of the galaxy and spreads outward.
Evidence from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer and Galaxy Evolution Explorer missions provide support for the 'inside-out' theory of galaxy evolution, which holds that star formation starts at the core of the galaxy and spreads outward.

Galaxies Grow from Inside Out

This infographic explains how NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope can be used in tandem with a telescope on the ground to measure the distances to planets discovered using the 'microlensing' technique.
This infographic explains how NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope can be used in tandem with a telescope on the ground to measure the distances to planets discovered using the 'microlensing' technique.

Infographic: Finding Planets With Microlensing

These images from the Cosmic Infrared Background Experiment, or CIBER, show large patches of the sky at two different infrared wavelengths (1.1 microns and 1.6 microns) after all known galaxies have been subtracted out and the images smoothed.
These images from the Cosmic Infrared Background Experiment, or CIBER, show large patches of the sky at two different infrared wavelengths (1.1 microns and 1.6 microns) after all known galaxies have been subtracted out and the images smoothed.

Matching Patterns of Light

This plot shows data from the Cosmic Infrared Background Experiment, or CIBER, rockets launched in 2010 and 2012. The experiment measures a diffuse glow of infrared light in the sky, known as the cosmic infrared background.
This plot shows data from the Cosmic Infrared Background Experiment, or CIBER, rockets launched in 2010 and 2012. The experiment measures a diffuse glow of infrared light in the sky, known as the cosmic infrared background.

Background Light 'Bluer' Than Expected

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)

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

Located 1,000 light years from Earth in the constellation Perseus, a reflection nebula called NGC 1333 epitomizes the beautiful chaos of a dense group of stars being born. This image is from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.
Located 1,000 light years from Earth in the constellation Perseus, a reflection nebula called NGC 1333 epitomizes the beautiful chaos of a dense group of stars being born. This image is from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

Chaotic Star Birth

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

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