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NASA Space Science

Spitzer Telescope Sheds Light On Colony of Baby Stars 34

Posted by Soulskill
from the orion's-baby-pictures dept.
astroengine writes "NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope had the unprecedented opportunity to observe the heart of the Orion Nebula for 40 days, returning 80 images of the star-forming region. In doing so, the observatory has been keeping track of 1,500 young stars as they undergo rapid variations in brightness, caused by large 'cool spots' on the surface of the stars and obscuring dust. However, the high resolution images Spitzer is returning take center-stage, showing a tight cluster of stellar birth amid the nebulous clouds of dust. This is an incredible achievement considering its primary mission is over (after using up all of its liquid helium coolant in May 2009) and only two instruments are still working."
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Spitzer Telescope Sheds Light On Colony of Baby Stars

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  • Amazing (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SirBigSpur (1677306) on Friday April 02, 2010 @03:59PM (#31709438)
    I find it amazing the equipment NASA deploys works so well after there primary mission. IE Mars rovers now the Spitzer
  • But... (Score:5, Funny)

    by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Friday April 02, 2010 @04:09PM (#31709494)
    ...isn't that kiddie porn? Those stars haven't even entered the main sequence yet! Even worse, they haven't had their first stellar wind yet! Somebody call the astrocops!
    • Re:But... (Score:5, Funny)

      by Red Flayer (890720) on Friday April 02, 2010 @04:27PM (#31709644) Journal
      They're not naked, for pete's sake. They are shrouded in interstellar dust.

      We should be more concerned with the lack of parental oversight, didn't you ever read "Lord of the Skies"?

      Pretty soon they'll be running around the cosmos wearing loincloths and putting pigs' heads on sticks and hunting each other down in the bush while celebrating the loss of their ability to make fire.

      Well, maybe not that last bit, given the fact that they are stars.
      • They're not naked, for pete's sake. They are shrouded in interstellar dust. We should be more concerned with the lack of parental oversight, didn't you ever read "Lord of the Skies"? Pretty soon they'll be running around the cosmos wearing loincloths and putting pigs' heads on sticks and hunting each other down in the bush while celebrating the loss of their ability to make fire. Well, maybe not that last bit, given the fact that they are stars.

        I read "Lord of the Flies"...

      • They're not naked, for pete's sake. They are shrouded in interstellar dust.

        OK, OK... But they sure have to be careful not to be naked when they're overweight and old. I've heard there are some really scary laws about that.

    • Meh. Law doesn't account for actually physical maturity. As long as it's eighteen...
  • by ch-chuck (9622) on Friday April 02, 2010 @04:46PM (#31709798) Homepage

    Wouldn't it be a little more accurate to say that a colony of baby stars shed light on the Spitzer Telescope?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Wouldn't it be a little more accurate to say that a colony of baby stars shed light on the Spitzer Telescope?

      I would certainly hope so. Otherwise, the size of the light on the telescope needed for any meaningful lighting on that
      scale would double as a very decent planet vaporizer over the range of a couple million kilometers. I wouldn't want that thing
      orbiting anywhere near our solar system...

  • This is what you get for hiring space prostitutes without putting a condom on your telescope.
  • by Jodka (520060) on Friday April 02, 2010 @07:03PM (#31710930)

    The Spitzer Telescope is name for American theoretical physicist and astronomer Lyman Spitzer [wikipedia.org], not the millionaire New York real estate tycoon Bernard Spitzer [wikipedia.org] (estimated worth $500 million) or his son, the philandering former Democratic Attorney General and Governor of New York State, Elliot Spitzer [wikipedia.org].

    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      Drat. And here I was wondering when NASA was going to launch the Dupre Space Telescope.

  • The new Hubble movie in IMAX 3D has two major flythrough visualizations using Hubble data. One of them is of the star nursey in the Orion Nebula.

    Go see the movie. It actually wasn't playing in my (major!) city, and so last weekend I drove 4 hours roundtrip to go see it. I know, I know.

"Floggings will continue until morale improves." -- anonymous flyer being distributed at Exxon USA

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