Press Release

NASA Spitzer Space Telescope Shares The Wealth

By SpaceRef Editor
May 11, 2004
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NASA Spitzer Space Telescope Shares The Wealth

Like a philanthropist donating a prized collection to a museum, NASA’s
Spitzer Space Telescope has opened a virtual vault rich with
scientific data. The Spitzer Science Archive now provides astronomers
access to the infrared telescope’s data well before the mission’s
one-year anniversary in space.

For members of the science community, it’s as easy as going to the
Spitzer home page at and using a
browser interface to download the data. To mark the debut of the
archive, NASA is releasing two new dazzling Spitzer images. The public
can view the Spitzer images at:

The Spitzer Space Telescope (formerly the Space Infrared Telescope
Facility) was launched on August 25, 2003. Its high-tech infrared eyes
observe galaxies, infant stars and newly forming planetary systems
that have escaped the view of other observatories.

“We are opening Spitzer’s floodgates to the world,” said Dr. Lisa
Storrie-Lombardi, deputy manager of the Spitzer Science Center at the
California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. “Any astronomer with
Internet access has this information at his or her fingertips.” The
Spitzer Science Center is responsible for validating and processing
the scientific data into a standard form that astronomers all over the
world can use to further their studies.

“People can do scientific research by comparing observations made at
different wavelengths using data from just the archives,” said Spitzer
Project Scientist Dr. Michael Werner of NASA’s Jet Propulsion
Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. “The Spitzer archive will produce
scientific surprises for decades long past the observatory’s

The archive includes data from the 110-hour “first-look” survey of the
mid-infrared sky, and information from the Spitzer Legacy Science
Program – a half dozen scientific investigations that can be used as
the basis for future research.

Spitzer is the fourth and final of NASA’s Great Observatories; the
others are the Hubble Space Telescope, Chandra X-Ray Observatory and
Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory. Spitzer views space in the infrared,
Hubble in the ultraviolet and optical, Chandra in the x-ray bands of
light, and Compton in gamma rays.

SpaceRef staff editor.