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Spitzer space telescope

Spitzer Space Telescope (formerly the Space Infrared Telescope Facility [SIRTF]) is an infrared space observatory, the fourth and final of NASA's Great Observatories.

The first images taken by SST were designed to show off the abilities of the telescope and showed a glowing stellar nursery; a swirling, dusty galaxy; a disc of planet-forming debris; and organic material in the distant universe.

In March of 2006, astronomers reported an 80 light year-long nebula near the center of the Milky Way Galaxy, the Double Helix Nebula, which is, as the name implies, twisted into a double spiral shape.

This is thought to be evidence of massive magnetic fields generated by the gas disc orbiting the supermassive black hole at the galaxy's center, 300 light years from the nebula and 25,000 light years from Earth.

This nebula was discovered by the Spitzer Space Telescope.

Note:   The above text is excerpted from the Wikipedia article "Spitzer space telescope", which has been released under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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August 30, 2015

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