Infrared Andromeda

By Sean Carroll | October 14, 2005 12:28 pm

NASA’s infrared Spitzer satellite has released these gorgeous new images of the Andromeda galaxy. In infrared, you are directly observing the dust lanes that describe the galactic arms, rather than simply looking at reflected starlight.

Andromeda galaxy

Here’s a bigger version. Lyman Spitzer, after whom the telescope is named, was one of the primary movers behind the original Space Telescope idea, which eventually grew into the Hubble Space Telescope. He was also my grand-advisor: George Field was my Ph.D. advisor, and Spitzer was his.

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  • janet

    Ooooh….

  • Quibbler

    wicked cool!

    –Q

  • Athena

    Amazing images, neat tie-in!

  • Henry Holland

    Yeah, those are great images. I love how in the infrared you can see a faint outer ring around the more prominent dust lanes. But I wonder why there’s that big gap on the left-hand side? Why is the central spiral not so spiral? There has to be something going on gravitationally beside the central black hole.

    *sigh* I wish I were an astronomer so I could study those things.

  • Dave

    I don’t know much about Dr. Spitzer but I do know that he leaded the Princeton Plasma Physics lab and helped to develop the first attempt at a hydrogen fusion reactor. Thought that this info would be of some interest to someone.

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About Sean Carroll

Sean Carroll is a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Physics at the California Institute of Technology. His research interests include theoretical aspects of cosmology, field theory, and gravitation. His most recent book is The Particle at the End of the Universe, about the Large Hadron Collider and the search for the Higgs boson. Here are some of his favorite blog posts, home page, and email: carroll [at] cosmicvariance.com .

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