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NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope captured the 'Cat’s Eye' nebula, or NGC 6543, is a well-studied example of a 'planetary nebula.' Such objects are the glowing remnants of dust and gas expelled from moderate-sized stars during their last stages of life.
NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope captured the 'Cat’s Eye' nebula, or NGC 6543, is a well-studied example of a 'planetary nebula.' Such objects are the glowing remnants of dust and gas expelled from moderate-sized stars during their last stages of life.

Galactic Dust Bunnies Found to Contain Carbon After All

This plot of data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescopes shows that asteroid dust around a dead 'white dwarf' star contains silicates -- a common mineral on Earth.
This plot of data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescopes shows that asteroid dust around a dead 'white dwarf' star contains silicates -- a common mineral on Earth.

Silicates in Alien Asteroids

This image from NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer shows the galaxy NGC 1316, located about 62 million light-years away in the constellation Fornax. The elliptical-shaped galaxy may be in the late stages of merging with a smaller companion galaxy.
This image from NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer shows the galaxy NGC 1316, located about 62 million light-years away in the constellation Fornax. The elliptical-shaped galaxy may be in the late stages of merging with a smaller companion galaxy.

NGC 1316

This artist's concept shows a gas-giant planet orbiting very close to its parent star, creating searingly hot conditions on the planet's surface
This artist's concept shows a gas-giant planet orbiting very close to its parent star, creating searingly hot conditions on the planet's surface

Forecasting Weather on Distant Worlds (Artist Concept)

This false-color infrared image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows little 'dwarf galaxies' forming in the 'tails' of two larger galaxies that are colliding together.
This false-color infrared image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows little 'dwarf galaxies' forming in the 'tails' of two larger galaxies that are colliding together.

Dwarf Galaxies Swimming in Tidal Tails

Strangely glowing, floating dark clouds are silhouetted against nearby bright stars in a busy star-forming region viewed by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope
Strangely glowing, floating dark clouds are silhouetted against nearby bright stars in a busy star-forming region viewed by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope

Thackeray's Globules

Astronomers have discovered nearly 300 galaxy clusters and groups, including almost 100 located 8 to 10 billion light-years away, using the space-based Spitzer Space Telescope and the ground-based Mayall 4-meter telescope.
Astronomers have discovered nearly 300 galaxy clusters and groups, including almost 100 located 8 to 10 billion light-years away, using the space-based Spitzer Space Telescope and the ground-based Mayall 4-meter telescope.

Galaxies Gather at Great Distances

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has lifted the cosmic veil to see an otherwise hidden newborn star, while detecting the presence of water and carbon dioxide ices, as well as organic molecules.
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has lifted the cosmic veil to see an otherwise hidden newborn star, while detecting the presence of water and carbon dioxide ices, as well as organic molecules.

Spectrum from Embedded Star in Herbig-Haro 46/47

This diagram illustrates research from NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer showing that black holes (once they reach a critical size) can put the brakes on new star formation in elliptical galaxies.
This diagram illustrates research from NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer showing that black holes (once they reach a critical size) can put the brakes on new star formation in elliptical galaxies.

Big Black Holes Mean Bad News for Stars (diagram)

A delicate ribbon of gas floats eerily in our galaxy. This image, taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, is a very thin section of a supernova remnant caused by a stellar explosion that occurred more than 1,000 years ago.
A delicate ribbon of gas floats eerily in our galaxy. This image, taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, is a very thin section of a supernova remnant caused by a stellar explosion that occurred more than 1,000 years ago.

Hubble Sees Stars and a Stripe in Celestial Fireworks

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope detected a prebiotic, or potentially life-forming, molecule called hydrogen cyanide (HCN) in the planet-forming disks around yellow stars like our sun, but not in the disks around cooler, reddish stars.
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope detected a prebiotic, or potentially life-forming, molecule called hydrogen cyanide (HCN) in the planet-forming disks around yellow stars like our sun, but not in the disks around cooler, reddish stars.

Cool Stars May Have Different Prebiotic Chemical Mix

A rare, infrared view of a developing star and its flaring jets taken by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows us what our own solar system might have looked like billions of years ago.
A rare, infrared view of a developing star and its flaring jets taken by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows us what our own solar system might have looked like billions of years ago.

Baby Picture of our Solar System

This image shows six of the three-dozen 'ultraviolet luminous galaxies' spotted in our corner of the universe by NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer. These massive galaxies greatly resemble newborn galaxies that were common in the early universe.
This image shows six of the three-dozen 'ultraviolet luminous galaxies' spotted in our corner of the universe by NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer. These massive galaxies greatly resemble newborn galaxies that were common in the early universe.

Nearby Newborns

NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer took this near ultraviolet image of Messier 101 on June 20, 2003. Messier 101 is a large spiral galaxy located 20 million light-years from Earth.
NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer took this near ultraviolet image of Messier 101 on June 20, 2003. Messier 101 is a large spiral galaxy located 20 million light-years from Earth.

Messier 101

NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer took this ultraviolet color image of the galaxy NGC5962 on June 7, 2003. This spiral galaxy is located 90 million light-years from Earth.
NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer took this ultraviolet color image of the galaxy NGC5962 on June 7, 2003. This spiral galaxy is located 90 million light-years from Earth.

Galaxy NGC5962

The elements and molecules that flew out of the Cassiopeia A star when it exploded about 300 years ago can be seen clearly for the first time in this plot of data, called a spectrum, taken by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.
The elements and molecules that flew out of the Cassiopeia A star when it exploded about 300 years ago can be seen clearly for the first time in this plot of data, called a spectrum, taken by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

Dissecting the Wake of a Supernova Explosion

These data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope show the signatures of buckyballs in space. Buckyballs, also called C60 or buckministerfullerenes, after architect Buckminister Fuller's geodesic domes.
These data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope show the signatures of buckyballs in space. Buckyballs, also called C60 or buckministerfullerenes, after architect Buckminister Fuller's geodesic domes.

Jiggling Soccer-Ball Molecules in Space

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope captured this infrared image of a giant halo of very fine dust around the young star HR 8799, located 129 light-years away in the constellation Pegasus.
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope captured this infrared image of a giant halo of very fine dust around the young star HR 8799, located 129 light-years away in the constellation Pegasus.

A Picture of Unsettled Planetary Youth

This diagram illustrates how astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope can capture the elusive spectra of hot-Jupiter planets. Spectra are an object's light spread apart into its basic components, or wavelengths.
This diagram illustrates how astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope can capture the elusive spectra of hot-Jupiter planets. Spectra are an object's light spread apart into its basic components, or wavelengths.

How to Pluck a Spectrum from a Planet

Two rambunctious young stars are destroying their natal dust cloud with powerful jets of radiation, in an infrared image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.
Two rambunctious young stars are destroying their natal dust cloud with powerful jets of radiation, in an infrared image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

Spitzer Digs Up Hidden Stars

This graph of data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows that an extraordinarily low-mass brown dwarf, or 'failed star,' called OTS 44, is circled by a disc of planet-building dust.
This graph of data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows that an extraordinarily low-mass brown dwarf, or 'failed star,' called OTS 44, is circled by a disc of planet-building dust.

Planetary Building Blocks Found in Surprising Place

This image of the nearby spiral galaxy NGC 300 was taken by NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer in a single orbit exposure of 27 minutes on October 10, 2003.
This image of the nearby spiral galaxy NGC 300 was taken by NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer in a single orbit exposure of 27 minutes on October 10, 2003.

Galaxy NGC 300

This image  from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows an exceptionally bright source of radio emission called DR21.
This image  from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows an exceptionally bright source of radio emission called DR21.

Star Formation in the DR21 Region (B)

Comet C/2013 UQ4 (Catalina) first looked like an asteroid when NASA's NEOWISE team first observed it on December 31, 2013. These exposures were taken that day, when the comet was at a distance of about 2.9 AU from the sun.
Comet C/2013 UQ4 (Catalina) first looked like an asteroid when NASA's NEOWISE team first observed it on December 31, 2013. These exposures were taken that day, when the comet was at a distance of about 2.9 AU from the sun.

NEOWISE Spots Comet Catalina

This plot of infrared data, called a spectrum, shows the strong signature of water vapor deep within the core of an embryonic star system, called NGC 1333-IRAS 4B.
The data were captured by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.
This plot of infrared data, called a spectrum, shows the strong signature of water vapor deep within the core of an embryonic star system, called NGC 1333-IRAS 4B.
The data were captured by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

Spitzer Sees Water Loud and Clear

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