History[ edit ] By the early s, astronomers began to consider the possibility of placing an infrared telescope above the obscuring effects of Earth's atmosphere.
Anticipating the major results from an upcoming Explorer satellite and from the Shuttle mission, the report also favored the "study and development of Earlier infrared observations had been made by both space-based and ground-based observatories. Ground-based observatories have the drawback that at infrared wavelengths or frequenciesboth the Earth's atmosphere and the telescope itself will radiate glow strongly.
Additionally, the atmosphere is opaque at most infrared wavelengths. This necessitates lengthy exposure times and greatly decreases the ability to detect faint objects. It could be compared to trying to observe the stars at noon. Previous space observatories such as IRASthe Infrared Astronomical Satellite, and ISOthe Infrared Space Observatory were launched during the s and s and great advances in astronomical technology have been made since then.
This approach was developed in an era when the Shuttle program was expected to support weekly flights of up to 30 days duration. Several flights were anticipated with a probable transition into a more extended mode of operation, possibly in association with a future space platform or space station.
SIRTF would be a 1-meter class, cryogenically cooled, multi-user facility consisting of a telescope and associated focal plane instruments. It would be launched on the Space Shuttle and remain attached to the Shuttle as a Spacelab payload during astronomical observations, after which it would be returned to Earth for refurbishment prior to re-flight.
The first flight was expected to occur aboutwith the succeeding flights anticipated beginning approximately one year later. However, the Spacelab-2 flight aboard STSF showed that the Shuttle environment was poorly suited to an onboard infrared telescope due to contamination from the relatively "dirty" vacuum associated with the orbiters.
However, after the Challenger disasterthe Centaur LH2 — LOX upper stage, which would have been required to place it in its final orbit, was banned from Shuttle use. The mission underwent a series of redesigns during the s, primarily due to budget considerations.
This resulted in a much smaller but still fully capable mission that could use the smaller Delta II expendable launch vehicle. One of the most important advances of this redesign was an Earth-trailing orbit.
Placing the satellite in solar orbit far from Earth allowed innovative passive cooling such as the sun shield, against the single remaining major heat source to drastically reduce the total mass of helium needed, resulting in an overall smaller lighter payload, with major cost savings.
The individual instruments were developed jointly by industrial, academic, and government institutions, the principals being Cornell, the University of Arizona, the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Ball Aerospace, and Goddard Spaceflight Center.
The shorter-wavelength infrared detectors were developed by Raytheon in Goleta, California. Raytheon used indium antimonide and a doped silicon detector in the creation of the infrared detectors.
It is stated that these detectors are times more sensitive than what was once available in the beginning of the project during the s. The spacecraft was built by Lockheed Martin. Spitzer ran out of liquid helium coolant on 15 Maywhich stopped far-IR observations. Only the IRAC instrument remains in use, and only at the two shorter wavelength bands 3.
Infrared Spectrograph IRS An infrared spectrometer with four sub-modules which operate at the wavelengths 5. Houck of Cornell University ; the flight hardware was built by Ball Aerospace. Rieke of the University of Arizona ; the flight hardware was built by Ball Aerospace.
Spitzer's first light image of IC The first images taken by SST were designed to show off the abilities of the telescope and showed a glowing stellar nursery; a big swirling, dusty galaxy ; a disc of planet-forming debris; and organic material in the distant universe.
As one of its most noteworthy observations, inSST became the first telescope to directly capture light from exoplanetsnamely the "hot Jupiters" HD b and TrES-1balthough it did not resolve that light into actual images.
Blue shows infrared light of 3. While some time on the telescope is reserved for participating institutions and crucial projects, astronomers around the world also have the opportunity to submit proposals for observing time.Spitzer Space Telescope: Spitzer Space Telescope, U.S. satellite, the fourth and last of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration fleet of “Great Observatories” satellites.
It was designed to study the cosmos at infrared wavelengths. The Spitzer observatory began operating in and was expected to spend at. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope was launched in to study the universe in the infrared. It is the last mission of the NASA Great Observatories program, which saw four specialized telescopes (including the Hubble Space Telescope) launched between .
A space telescope or space observatory is an instrument located in outer space to observe distant planets, Theorized by Lyman Spitzer in , the first operational space telescopes were the American Orbiting Astronomical Observatory OAO-2 launched in and the Soviet Orion 1 ultraviolet telescope aboard space station Salyut 1 in .
The Spitzer Space Telescope (formerly SIRTF, the Space Infrared Telescope Facility) is a meter telescope with three cryogenically cooled instruments, operating in the 3 - micron range. The observatory is the final element in .
The Spitzer Space Telescope is the final mission in NASA's Great Observatories Program - a family of four space-based observatories, each observing the universe in a different kind of light. Spitzer is designed to detect infrared radiation, which is .
Spitzer's incredible discoveries and amazing images are at the center of these new products. JPL manages the Spitzer Space Telescope mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Science operations are conducted at the Spitzer Science Center at Caltech in Pasadena, California.