Slyder :: The Infrared Universe

Slyder :: The Infrared Universe

Play the Slyder game. Unscramble these diced up pictures of strange and wondrous objects in space. Most of the pictures were made by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

Much of what is beautiful and mysterious in space will always be invisible to human eyes. Why? Because our eyes can see only a tiny bit of all the light that shines. Fortunately, our brains can sometimes make up for what our eyes are missing. NASA scientists and engineers designed, built and launched the Spitzer Space Telescope to reveal some of the hidden secrets of the Universe.

These are some of the wonders Spitzer has shown us so far…

A new view of a familiar galaxy with long, spiral arms…

The spiral galaxy Eta Carinae, blue in the center with yellow spiral arms.

The glowing, dusty remains of a star's dying gasp…

An eye-like cloud, red in the center, blue on the edges.

New stars forming inside huge, billowing columns of gas and dust…

Mountain-like clouds of dust, glowing in red and yellow.

These "secret" views of the Universe are not visible to our eyes or even to ordinary telescopes. However, the Spitzer Space Telescope can see them because it views the Universe in infrared light, rather than visible light. Although our eyes cannot sense infrared light, we do feel it on our skin as heat.

Artist's painting of Spitzer Space Telescope in orbit.

Unlike visible light, infrared passes right through clouds of dust and gas in space, revealing what lies beyond them. Also, Spitzer allows us to clearly see objects in space that are too cool to give off visible light—like clouds of dust and gas, which are likely to be places where new stars or even planets are being formed.

Spitzer is showing us the Universe in a whole new light!

information last updated more than 9 years ago

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