NASA's Spitzer and WISE telescopes find close, cold neighbor of the Sun

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) and Spitzer Space Telescope have discovered what appears to be the coldest "brown dwarf" known -- a dim, star-like body that surprisingly is as frosty as Earth's North Pole.

Spitzer stares into the heart of new supernova in M82

The closest supernova of its kind to be observed in the last few decades has sparked a global observing campaign involving legions of instruments on the ground and in space, including NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. With its dust-piercing infrared vision, Spitzer brings an important perspective to this effort by peering directly into the heart of the aftermath of the stellar explosion.

Looking back to the cradle of our Universe

NASA's Spitzer and Hubble Space Telescopes have spotted what might be one of the most distant galaxies known, harkening back to a time when our universe was only about 650 million years old (our universe is 13.8 billion years old). The galaxy, known as Abell2744 Y1, is about 30 times smaller than our Milky Way galaxy and is producing about 10 times more stars, as is typical for galaxies in our young universe.

Stormy stars? NASA's Spitzer probes weather on brown dwarfs

Swirling, stormy clouds may be ever-present on cool celestial orbs called brown dwarfs. New observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope suggest that most brown dwarfs are roiling with one or more planet-size storms akin to Jupiter's "Great Red Spot."

Spitzer and ALMA reveal a star's bubbly birth

It's a bouncing baby . . . star! Combined observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and the newly completed Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile have revealed the throes of stellar birth as never before in the well-studied object known as HH 46/47.

A ghostly trio from NASA's Spitzer space telescope

In the spirit of Halloween, scientists are releasing a trio of stellar ghosts caught in infrared light by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. All three spooky structures, called planetary nebulas, are in fact material ejected from dying stars. As death beckoned, the stars' wispy bits and pieces were blown into outer space.

Revamping Spitzer to probe exoplanets

Now approaching its 10th anniversary, NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has evolved into a premier observatory for an endeavor not envisioned in its original design: the study of worlds around other stars, called exoplanets. While the engineers and scientists who built Spitzer did not have this goal in mind, their visionary work made this unexpected capability possible.

NASA's Spitzer Telescope celebrates 10 years in space

Ten years after a Delta II rocket launched NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, lighting up the night sky over Cape Canaveral, Fla., the fourth of the agency's four Great Observatories continues to illuminate the dark side of the cosmos with its infrared eyes.

Spitzer discovers young stars with a 'hula hoop'

Astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have spotted a young stellar system that "blinks" every 93 days. Called YLW 16A, the system likely consists of three developing stars, two of which are surrounded by a disk of material left over from the star-formation process.

Spitzer telescope observes gas emission from Comet ISON

Astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have observed what most likely are strong carbon dioxide emissions from Comet ISON ahead of its anticipated pass through the inner solar system later this year.

Putting planets in a petri dish with NASA's Spitzer

Our Milky Way galaxy is teeming with a wild variety of planets. In addition to our solar system's eight near-and-dear planets, there are more than 800 so-called exoplanets known to circle stars beyond our sun.

Cosmic strobe may be pair of baby stars

An odd star that flashes like a strobe light may actually be a pair of young stars just a few thousand years old, says a team using the Spitzer and Hubble space telescopes.

The stormy atmosphere of a brown dwarf

Astronomers using NASA's Spitzer and Hubble space telescopes have managed to probe the stormy atmosphere of a brown dwarf, creating the most detailed "weather map" yet for this class of cool, star-like orbs.

New explanation for universe's infrared glow

Dark matter halos — the huge, invisible cocoons of mass that envelop entire galaxies and account for most of the matter in the universe — may not be so dark after all.

Spitzer measures rate of universe's expansion

Astronomers have come up with their most accurate measurement yet of the Hubble constant, the rate at which the universe is expanding.

Small exoplanet may be covered in magma

Astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have discovered what may be the nearest world to our solar system that's smaller than Earth.

Astronomers discover 'near-impossible' galaxy cluster

Scientists have spotted a glowing arc in space, signposting a massive cluster of galaxies that they were surprised to discover exists.

NASA detects light from super-Earth

NASA scientists have, for the first time, seen the light from a planet outside our solar system  that's a similar size to the Earth.

Galaxy found hiding inside another

Most galaxies are either roughly spherical or take the shape of a flat disk - but new observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope show that the Sombrero galaxy is both.

Ancient galaxy seen creating two stars a week

Astronomers using NASA's Spitzer and Hubble space telescopes have discovered that one of the most distant galaxies known is churning out stars at the rate of 100 per year.