SPITZER SPACE TELESCOPE TO BE SHUT BY 2020.
What’s in news?
NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has lifted the veil on hidden objects in nearly every corner of the universe, from a new ring around Saturn to observations of some of the most distant galaxies known.
- NASA’s Spitzer telescope will be switched off permanently on January 30, 2020, after nearly 16 years of exploring the cosmos in infrared light.
- Because in recent years, it’s been operating with just one instrument, as the other two succumbed to the elements and ceased functioning.
- By 2020, Spitzer telescope will have operated for more than 11 years beyond its prime mission.
- It was launched in January 1983 as “Infrared Astronomical Satellite”, jointly developed by the United States, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, to conduct the first infrared survey of the sky.
- Spitzer is the only one of the Great Observatories not launched by the Space Shuttle, as was originally intended.
- NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope was launched in 2003 on a mission to spend five years exploring the cosmos in infrared light i.e. involved in capturing images and chemical signatures of warm objects, like the glow of gas in nebulae and galaxies, or the composition of planets in still-forming alien solar systems. It even found a new ring of Saturn.
Spitzer space telescope:
- The telescope managed and operated by Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).
- Spitzer is a small but transformation observatory.
- It captures infrared light, which is often emitted by ‘warm’ objects that are not quite hot enough to radiate visible light.
- Spitzer lifted the veil on hidden objects in nearly every corner of the universe, from a new ring around Saturn to observations of some of the most distant galaxies known.
- Lasting more than twice as long as the primary mission, Spitzer’s extended mission has yielded some of the observatory’s most transformational results.
- In 2017, the telescope revealed the presence of seven rocky planets around the TRAPPIST-1 star.
- In some cases, Spitzer’s observations were combined with observations by other missions, including NASA’s Kepler and Hubble space telescopes.