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Slide 1

All about Spitzer

All about Spitzer

The Universe in the Infrared

What is the Spitzer Space Telescope, and how does it work?

Funded by NASAs Spitzer Science Center

Images courtesy NASA/JPL - Caltech

Slide 2

Outline

Outline

NASAs Great Observatories

Introducing Spitzer

Spitzers Launch

Orbit

Naming Spitzer

The Telescope

Instruments

Future IR Telescopes

Slide 3

NASAs Great Observatories

NASAs Great Observatories

Spitzer is the final spacecraft in NASA's Great Observatories program

HST 1990

Compton GRO 1991

Chandra 1999

Slide 4

Introducing Spitzer

Introducing Spitzer

The Spitzer Space Telescope is a cryogenically cooled, infrared observatory in space.

Spitzer can study objects ranging from our Solar System to the distant reaches of the Universe.

Slide 5

Launch

Launch

Launched from KSC on

25 August 2003

Lifetime:

2.5 years (minimum);

5+ years (goal)

Slide 6

Heliocentric Orbit

Heliocentric Orbit

Most space telescopes orbit the Earth

Spitzer orbits the Sun - trailing the Earth as it moves around the Sun

Spitzer is receding from Earth at 9.3 million miles (15 million kilometers) per year

Spitzer now trails the Earth in its orbit by about 20 million miles (~ 32 million kilometers)

By 2008, Spitzer will be about 56 million miles or 90 million kilometers away

Slide 7

Named for Lyman Spitzer

Named for Lyman Spitzer

Lyman Spitzer was the driving force behind HST

Founded the study of the interstellar medium

Studied interstellar dust and star formation

Slide 8

Introducing the Telescope

Introducing the Telescope

Slide 9

Spitzer Specs

Spitzer Specs

Mirror:

85 cm (33.5) diameter

lightweight beryllium

f/12 curvature

Weight:

Telescope: 851.5 kg

He cryogen: 50.4 kg

N propellent: 15.6 kg

Slide 10

Keeping Spitzer Cold

Keeping Spitzer Cold

Telescope operates at 5.5 K

Why? - Spitzer is itself a black body radiator, and must be colder than the astronomical sources it detects

How?

Heliocentric orbit

Solar shield/solar cells

Outer shell insulates and cools the telescope

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