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Spitzer 12 month calendar for the 12th anniversary  August 21, 2015

Posted by aquillam in Astronomy.
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This beautiful, printable, calendar celebrates 12 years of infrared astronomy by the overachieving Spitzer space telescope.

http://ift.tt/1U219jU

Also, ifttt’s Do note is handy, Though it creates terrible titles for blog posts.

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Awesome Astronomical Image Search January 12, 2012

Posted by aquillam in Astronomy, MichiganAstro.
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AstroPix Beta.

It’s a beta, that is true. The website is still a little rough around the edges, runs a bit slow (or maybe that’s my connection…) and there can’t be more than a few hundred images, but this is most certainly a site worth perusing.

The search functions are great. The images not only have titles and information about where they came from, they’re tagged with all sorts of other info.  Want images of the same nebula in IR, H-alpha, visible, and x-ray? You can search for that. Artists’ concepts of an accretion disk around a binary star system?  You got it.

The only real problem I’ve found is that the image collection simply isn’t very large yet. For example, there are only 5 images with “spectral.centralWavelength” of 656 nm, and not one of them is the Sun. That should improve though, and even with a relatively small set of images, this is a great resource.

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 penetrate the dust can’t make it through our atmosphere, so we have to put the telescope in space to get this image.

HSM4 wrapping up May 18, 2009

Posted by aquillam in Astronomy.
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The astronauts are cleaning up the payload bay after the last servicing mission to Hubble.
So far, everything has eventually been successful, although some trouble getting in to STIS delayed the installation of the new thermal shield. The only disappointment has been the High Resolution Chanel on the Advanced Camera for Surveys, which NASA was not planning to repair, but had hoped would come back when the Wide Field Chanel was repaired. Alas, it did not, so ACS be stuck operating without it. However, as it was only used for about 25% of the observations with ACS, and ACS wasn’t working at all before this mission, it’s still a pretty big overall success.
The latest updates are available at
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hubble/servicing/SM4/main/index.html