Infrared NASA

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Robert Hurt, Visualization Scientist at NASA's Spitzer Space Science Center

The Spitzer Space Telescope was launched into space in 2003 and has been studying everything from asteroids in our solar system to the most remote galaxies at the edge of the observable universe including taking pictures of the disk, or plane, of our Milky Way galaxy in infrared light. Our galaxy is a flat spiral disk; our solar system sits in the outer one-third of the Milky Way, in one of its spiral arms. When we look toward the center of our galaxy, we see a crowded, dusty region jam-packed with stars. Visible-light telescopes cannot look as far into this region because the amount of dust increases with distance, blocking visible starlight. Infrared light, however, travels through the dust and allows Spitzer to view past the galaxy's center.

In this talk, Robert Hurt will talk about the science legacy of NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope by explaining what hidden stories it has shed light upon over the past decade of operation. He spends much of his time rendering some of the most amazing astronomical datasets into images that everyone can view and to help understand what is going on in some of the most distant parts of the galaxy.

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