Clouds of gas and dust fill the space between the stars. Like giant puffs of smoke, these cosmic particles have a tendency to obscure objects from detection. But by using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, researchers can look through the clouds and see the heat radiated from distant stars, planets and even other galaxies. Since 2003, the telescope has utilized wavelengths in the infrared spectrum to uncover a hidden universe of never-before-seen places and phenomenon. Here are five mind-blowing images of the Milky Way taken by Spitzer.
Exploring our galaxy's dark side.
Dust (blue, orange) creeps away from bright-shining stars in the Orion Nebula.
A cloud of hydrogen-rich gas and dust surrounds a glowing mass of young stars.
Displaced gas and dust line the cavity of a star-forming region 6,500 light-years from Earth.
Stellar wind flowing from a massive star bends a nearby dust cloud (red, white).
Dust (yellow, green, red) envelops a traveling cluster of stars.
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
Images courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech
- Izumi Hansen (Intern) [Lead]