News FocusAstronomy

Sensing the Hidden Heat of the Universe

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Science  06 Dec 2002:
Vol. 298, Issue 5600, pp. 1870-1872
DOI: 10.1126/science.298.5600.1870

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SUNNYVALE, CALIFORNIA-- Astronomers are preparing to launch the long-awaited Space Infrared Telescope Facility, the last of NASA's four Great Observatories. The observatory will sense the thermal glows of normal stars in remote galaxies, cocoons of star birth in nearby galaxies and in our Milky Way, and planet-forming whorls of gas and dust around young stars. Infrared radiation pierces dust, opening vistas that are frustratingly shrouded in Hubble's iconic images.