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M106

The Most Important Wavelength

I was recently asked whether optical telescopes were the most important kind – or if they weren’t – what the most important wavelength of light was. The answer truly is – they are all important! Most astronomical objects and phenomena emit light at more than one wavelength – so if … Continue Reading →


Boarding the plane for the safety walkthrough

A Ride on SOFIA

This is a guest blog by astronomer Brian Williams, who last blogged for us about the building blocks of life. A joint project between NASA and the German space agency (DLR), the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA, is a bit of a departure from NASA’s traditional telescope fleet. … Continue Reading →


artists conception PSR B1257+12

Why infrared? (exoplanet edition)

I’m not sure I’ve yet to meet a person who didn’t find the idea of planets around other stars fascinating. I’m no different. I grew up in an era where the only planets we knew about were the ones in our own solar system. When I went to college to … Continue Reading →


HUDF z=11.9

Why infrared? (earliest galaxies edition)

  • By Maggie Masetti
  • September 12, 2013
  • Comments Off on Why infrared? (earliest galaxies edition)

This is the second blog in a series which asks the question, why infrared? Last time we looked at how infrared light could reveal baby stars hidden from visible-light observatories by opaque clouds of gas. In this blog I’m going to talk about (what else?) the James Webb Space Telescope … Continue Reading →


Happy Birthday Spitzer

Happy birthday, Spitzer!

Seems like only yesterday we were celebrating the 5th birthday of the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. As it turns out, there’s another space telescope celebrating a big anniversary – the Spitzer Space Telescope just turned ten on August 25th! I know talk a lot about JWST and how amazing it’s … Continue Reading →


Why Infrared? Nebulae Edition

Why infrared? (nebula edition)

As someone who fields a lot of questions about the James Webb Space Telescope, a giant infrared observatory being built right now, I see a lot of “Why infrared?” questions. There are a lot of answers to this, but here’s one I think is particularly interesting and illustrative of why … Continue Reading →


NuStar

Try on a pair of NuSTARs!

  • By Daniel Wik
  • February 26, 2013
  • Comments Off on Try on a pair of NuSTARs!

Sara’s note: Please join us in welcoming our newest guest blogger, Dr. Dan Wik! You might have heard our interview with Dan in our podcast NASA’s Newest X-Ray Eyes, and we’re excited to get more behind-the-scenes coverage of NuSTAR and Dan’s research in his blog posts. Imagine you are usually … Continue Reading →


Building Blocks of Life

A Look into the Building Blocks of Life

Maggie’s note: Please welcome a new guest blogger, astronomer Brian Williams! Most of the stars in the universe will, like our Sun, live steadily for billions of years before ending in relative serenity. However, a select few will go out in a blaze of glory called a supernova, the explosion … Continue Reading →


Infrared Beyond the Visible

Infrared: Beyond the Visible

As many of you know, aside from Blueshift, I work on the James Webb Space Telescope, which will be the successor the Hubble Space Telescope. It’s not a replacement, partly because Hubble isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, but also because the Webb is primarily an infrared telescope. Astronomers use something … Continue Reading →


Awesomeness Roundup

Awesomeness Round-Up – 6/11/2012

On Tuesday, June 5, Venus passed in front of the Sun – an event that was visible on seven continents for those that were fortunate enough to have clear weather. These “transits” of Venus are very rare, coming in pairs separated by more than a hundred years. This June’s transit, … Continue Reading →


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