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  • This split view shows how a normal spiral galaxy around our local universe.

    Galaxies Near and Far

    This split view shows how a normal spiral galaxy around our local universe (left) might have looked back in the distant universe, when astronomers think galaxies would have been filled with larger pop...

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  • Messier 78

    Making a Spectacle of Star Formation in Orion

    Looking like a pair of eyeglasses only a rock star would wear, this nebula brings into focus a murky region of star formation. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope exposes the depths of this dusty nebula wi...

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  • Nebula RCW 120

    In the Blackest Night, a Green Ring Nebula

    This glowing emerald nebula seen by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope is reminiscent of the glowing ring wielded by the superhero Green Lantern. In the comic books, the diminutive Guardians of the Planet...

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  • This image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows what lies near the sword of the constellation Orion -- an active stellar nursery containing thousands of young stars and developing protostars

    Stars Adorn Orion's Sword

    This image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows what lies near the sword of the constellation Orion -- an active stellar nursery containing thousands of young stars and developing protostars. Man...

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  • NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope detected tiny green crystals, called olivine, thought to be raining down on a developing star. This graphic illustrates the process.

    Cosmic Fountain of Crystal Rain

    NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope detected tiny green crystals, called olivine, thought to be raining down on a developing star. This graphic illustrates the process, beginning with a picture of the star...

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  • The data in the graph were taken by Spitzer's infrared spectrograph, which sorts infrared light relative to its color, or wavelength

    Finding Forsterite Around a Developing Star

    Using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, astronomers have, for the first time, found signatures of silicate crystals around a newly forming protostar in the constellation of Orion. The crystals are from ...

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  • Giant cluster of elliptical galaxies

    Peering Through the Lens of a Galaxy Cluster

    The giant cluster of elliptical galaxies in the center of this image contains so much dark matter mass that its gravity bends light. This means that for very distant galaxies in the background, the cl...

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  • Infrared view of the frenzied scene at the center of our Milky Way

    Stars Gather in 'Downtown' Milky Way

    The region around the center of our Milky Way galaxy glows colorfully in this new version of an image taken by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

    The data were previously released as part of...

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  • A baby star sprouting two identical jets

    It's Twins! Spitzer Finds Hidden Jet

    NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope took this image of a baby star sprouting two identical jets (green lines emanating from fuzzy star). The jet on the right had been seen before in visible-light views, bu...

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  • North American nebula

    North American Nebula in Different Lights

    This new view of the North American nebula combines both visible and infrared light observations, taken by the Digitized Sky Survey and NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, respectively, into a single vivi...

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  • North American nebula

    The Case of the Disappearing Continent

    This swirling landscape of stars is known as the North American nebula. In visible light, the region resembles North America, but in this new infrared view from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, the con...

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  • Appearance of the North American nebula can change dramatically using different combinations of visible and infrared observations

    Changing Face of the North American Nebula

    This image layout reveals how the appearance of the North American nebula can change dramatically using different combinations of visible and infrared observations from the Digitized Sky Survey and NA...

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  • North American nebula

    An Extended Stellar Family

    This swirling landscape of stars is known as the North American nebula. In visible light, the region resembles North America, but in this new infrared view from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, the con...

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  • Maffei 2 galaxy

    The Hidden Galaxy

    Maffei 2 is the poster child for an infrared galaxy that is almost invisible to optical telescopes. Foreground dust clouds in our Milky Way galaxy block about 99.5 percent of its visible light. But th...

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  • Massive cluster of young galaxies forming in the distant universe

    Galactic City at the Edge of the Universe

    Astronomers have discovered a massive cluster of young galaxies forming in the distant universe. The growing galactic metropolis, named COSMOS-AzTEC3, is the most distant known massive "proto-cluster"...

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  • Bow shock around star Delta Cephei (left) and direction of star motion diagram (right)

    Standard Candle in the Wind

    This image layout illustrates how NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope was able to show that a "standard candle" used to measure cosmological distances is shrinking -- a finding that affects precise measure...

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  • This plot indicates the presence of molecules in the planet WASP-12b

    Signature of a Carbon-Rich Planet

    This plot of data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope indicates the presence of molecules in the planet WASP-12b -- a super-hot gas giant that orbits tightly around its star. Spitzer measurements sugg...

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  • Artist's concept shows the searing-hot gas planet WASP-12b (orange orb) and its star.

    Hot, Carbon-Rich Planet

    This artist's concept shows the searing-hot gas planet WASP-12b (orange orb) and its star. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope discovered that the planet has more carbon than oxygen, making it the first ca...

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  • Diagram showing an unusual galaxy with bent jets

    Jets Sweeping Through the Gas

    This diagram shows an unusual galaxy with bent jets (see callout). The galaxy was found with the help of NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope in a filament (purple area) connecting two massive islands of ga...

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  • Merging galaxies, known collectively as II Zw 096

    Shrouded Starburst

    A brilliant burst of star formation is revealed in this image combining observations from NASA's Spitzer and Hubble Space Telescopes. The collision of two spiral galaxies has triggered this luminous s...

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