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BETTII outside in August 2016

Peering into the Dusty Corners of the Universe with BETTII

  • By Sara Mitchell
  • June 8, 2017
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Sara’s note: We’re excited to tell you about one of the Goddard-built balloon-borne astrophysics missions launching this week! This is a guest post (and photos) from Dr. Stephen Rinehart. The Balloon Experimental Twin Telescope for Infrared Interferometry (BETTII) is a 8-meter long far-infrared interferometer designed to fly on a high … Continue Reading →


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 →

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 →

Why infrared? (earliest galaxies edition)

  • By Maggie Masetti
  • September 12, 2013
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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!

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? (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 →

Try on a pair of NuSTARs!

  • By Daniel Wik
  • February 26, 2013
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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 →

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 →

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