Spitzer Space Telescope two-year extension to “retire”

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Spitzer Space Telescope two-year extension to “retire”

Spitzer after the coolant is exhausted, infrared spectroscopy and multiband imaging photometer stopped working, but four IRAC camera can work properly in two

According to foreign media reports, in order to celebrate the ability to probe beyond the space limits of science and technology, the Spitzer Space Telescope team to the next phase of the task named “beyond.” Spitzer project scientist Michael Werner said Spitzer current operating conditions beyond the capabilities of the original set, and works well. We never thought that 13 years after the launch it can operate normally, scientists have found many never thought before that the detector will use to explore the phenomenon. NASA recently approved a two-year extension of Spitzer missions. In “Beyond” stage, Spitzer meet many astronomy and explore the universe science topics, as well as the solar system many planetary bodies beyond.

Given Spitzer orbit and service time, “beyond” will stage a series of challenges on the project. Spitzer and the earth to maintain the same orbit around the sun rotates, but because of the speed of operation of the detector is slightly smaller than the Earth, and the Earth from the Spitzer will gradually increase. With Spitzer farther, its antenna must be high angle toward the sun to Earth communications, which means that some parts of the detector was subjected to increasingly high temperatures. Meanwhile, Spitzer’s solar panels back to the sun, solar energy received less and less, so the battery is also under tremendous challenge. In order to achieve this task, the research team had to update some automatic safety system program.

Spitzer on August 25, 2003 launch, during the execution of the whole task, the challenges faced by the science and engineering of many, the next stage of these problems are also likely to continue to exist. In “Beyond” stage main purpose of the detector probe comprises a target many Spitzer originally unplanned, such as the early universe, galaxies, galactic central black hole and exoplanets. Spitzer has many advantages in the study of extrasolar planets, it has a precise stellar positioning system as well as excellent temperature control. These advantages make it possible to detect exoplanet light in 2005. Recently, by using Spitzer’s Infrared Array Camera (IRAC) to explore exoplanets – when one star passes in front of the galaxy, star light will diminish.

IRAC scientists invented a special way to observe this light observation weakening phenomenon, namely the use of the single-pixel camera to observe. Spitzer explore another planet technology microlensing . When a star from another star passes in front of the first of a star’s gravity will show the effect of the lens, so that the light from distant stars appear brighter. Scientists use microlensing to find the brightness mutation phenomenon, which may mean that there are galaxies of stars running around the front.

Another task is to study the early universe Spitzer. IRAC can detect about 120 million years outside of distant galaxies, so distant galaxies emitted light propagation here means that their propagation time may be accounted for 88% of the universe of time. Today, thanks to Spitzer and there is the Hubble Space Telescope , scientists can study in depth history of the universe. Currently observed farthest galaxy –GN-z11, located 13.4 billion light-years away, which means that since the Big Bang, it had already spread light 400 million years.

Spitzer after the coolant is exhausted, infrared spectroscopy and multiband imaging photometer stopped working, but four IRAC camera two can work properly. Since then, despite the higher probe body temperature, but it still got a lot of new discoveries. Spitzer’s “beyond” the task will continue to NASA’s James – Webb Space Telescope into trial operation, the telescope is expected to be October 2018 launch. Webb Telescope Spitzer will confirm the future a more detailed observation of the target.

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