SPITZER SPACE TELESCOPE
Context: NASA’s Spitzer Mission, which studied the universe in infrared light for more than 16 years, will come to an end on January 30, 2020, since it is low on fuel and has been drifting away from Earth for a few years now.
Without liquid helium which is required to cool the telescope to the very low temperatures needed to operate, most of the instruments are no longer usable.
All about SPITZER SPACE TELESCOPE NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope (SST) is an infrared space telescope which was launched in 2003 and is planned to be retired on 30 January 2020. This telescope by NASA is named in honor of astronomer Lyman Spitzer, who had promoted the concept of space telescopes in the 1940s. This space telescope is one of the elements of NASA’s Great Observatories that include the Hubble Space Telescope and the Chandra X-Ray. Using different infrared wavelengths, Spitzer was able to see and reveal features of the universe including objects that were too cold to emit visible light. The Spitzer Space Telescope was also able to see through large amounts of gas using infrared wavelengths to find objects that may otherwise have been invisible to human beings. These included exoplanets, brown dwarfs and cold matter found in the space between stars.
All Spitzer data, from both the primary and warm phases, are archived at the Infrared Science Archive (IRSA). It follows a heliocentric (A heliocentric orbit is an orbit around the barycenter of the Solar System, which is usually located within or very near the surface of the Sun. All planets, comets, and asteroids in the Solar System, and the Sun itself are in such orbits, as are many artificial probes and pieces of debris. The moons of planets in the Solar System, by contrast, are not in heliocentric orbits, as they orbit their respective planet.) instead of geocentric orbit (A geocentric orbit or Earth orbit involves any object orbiting the Earth, such as the Moon or artificial satellites), trailing and drifting away from Earth’s orbit at approximately 0.1 astronomical units per year (a so-called “earth-trailing” orbit).
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