The Spitzer Space Telescope has been at work for the last 15 years and has, in all that time, made a few astounding discoveries. Here is a quick look back at its best moments so far. First launched in August 2003, Spitzer was the last of NASA’s four “Great Observatories” to reach space, says NASA. The other three that went before it are the Hubble Space Telescope, Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, Chandra X-Ray Observatory.
Trailing behind Earth, Spitzer has been gradually drifting farther away from our planet, says NASA. Spitzer was also initially scheduled only for a minimum two-and-a-half year primary mission, but has lasted many times its expected life expectancy, reports the space agency.
Cradle of newborn stars
Because infrared light can penetrate through cosmic gas and dust clouds far better than visible light in most cases, Spitzer has the ability to offer some of the most incredible views of places in the universe. Like this one- a cradle where mighty stars are birthed. Newborn stars are seen peeking from behind their “natal blankets” of the Rho Ophiuchi dark cloud, notes NASA.
This region is called Rho Oph and is one of the few star-forming regions that are near or close by the Solar System. It is located near constellations Scorpius and Ophiuchus in the night sky, this nebula is just 410 light years away from Earth.