Spitzer Space Telescope
Rieke, George H. Steward Observatory, Department of Astronomy, The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona.
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
A high-performance infrared telescope that is one of the four Great Observatories. Spitzer was launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 2003. It takes advantage of dramatic advances in infrared detectors and detector arrays that occurred over the decade prior to its launch. The Spitzer detectors operate over the 3–200-micrometers (μm) wavelength range and are limited in sensitivity only by the faint glow of the zodiacal dust cloud. Ground-based infrared telescopes can operate only at the wavelengths where the atmosphere is transparent, lying between 1 and 25 μm. Even within these windows, the thermal emission of the atmosphere is more than a million times greater than the dilute emission of the zodiacal cloud, and there is additional foreground thermal emission from the telescope itself. High-sensitivity detectors are blinded by these bright foreground signals. Operating in space eliminates the atmospheric absorption and emission; also, a telescope in the vacuum of space can be cooled sufficiently to virtually eliminate its emission. See also: Zodiacal light
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Its dedicated editorial team is led by Sagan Award winner John Rennie. Contributors include more than 9000 highly qualified scientists and 42 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8500 articles and Research Reviews covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 17,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information