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NASA says goodbye to famous Spitzer Space Telescope

The Spitzer Space Telescope is a space-borne observatory, one of the elements of NASA’s Great Observatories that include the Hubble Space Telescope and the Chandra X-Ray.

Spitzer was the part of NASA’s four Great Observatories and displayed an infrared view of the cosmos.

Having outlived its minimal mission lifetime of two-and-a-half years, Spitzer can be put in hibernation Thursday after the telescope returns its last science knowledge Wednesday. After 30 January, Spitzer will retire.

But the £1.07billion ($1.4billion) mission has proven too costly for NASA to maintain, with the agency failing to secure the funding needed to keep Spitzer alive.

“Spitzer taught us how important infrared light is to understanding our universe, both in our own cosmic neighbourhood and as far away as the most distant galaxies”, said NASA Director of Astrophysics Paul Hertz in a press release announcing the Spritzer’s final transmission.

By seeing through dust, “we’re lifting the cosmic veil on the universe”, Dodd said. Converting infrared universe images acquired by Spitzer into color images was a laborious digital data compilation.

Rochester astronomers, from left, Dan Watson, Bill Forrest, and Judith Pipher helped develop the detectors used in the Spitzer telescope’s infrared “eyes”.

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