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Invisible Astronomy December 29, 2010

Posted by aquillam in Astronomy, MichiganAstro.
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If you’ve ever wondered why we need space telescopes, this is a lovely example.

http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/images/3463-sig10-025-Maffei-2-The-Hidden-Galaxy

It’s an entire galaxy, fairly large and bright and nearby. But don’t look for it in your backyard telescope, it’s hidden behind the dust of our own galaxy. That dust is no problem for Spitzer’s infrared eyes. However, the wavelengths of IR light that can┬ápenetrate┬áthe dust can’t make it through our atmosphere, so we have to put the telescope in space to get this image.

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