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Spitzer Telescope Sheds Light On Colony of Baby Stars

Soulskill posted about 4 years ago | from the orion's-baby-pictures dept.

NASA 34

astroengine writes "NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope had the unprecedented opportunity to observe the heart of the Orion Nebula for 40 days, returning 80 images of the star-forming region. In doing so, the observatory has been keeping track of 1,500 young stars as they undergo rapid variations in brightness, caused by large 'cool spots' on the surface of the stars and obscuring dust. However, the high resolution images Spitzer is returning take center-stage, showing a tight cluster of stellar birth amid the nebulous clouds of dust. This is an incredible achievement considering its primary mission is over (after using up all of its liquid helium coolant in May 2009) and only two instruments are still working."

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34 comments

first start (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31709428)

first born star!

Spitzer? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31710012)

How much does this telescope spend on prostitutes?

Re:Spitzer? (1)

AVryhof (142320) | about 4 years ago | (#31710400)

Don't care, as long as it's not money that is SUPPOSED to be spent for looking at stars. ...and if prostitutes improve it's viability, then maybe we should offer some tax money towards them.

Amazing (3, Insightful)

SirBigSpur (1677306) | about 4 years ago | (#31709438)

I find it amazing the equipment NASA deploys works so well after there primary mission. IE Mars rovers now the Spitzer

Re:Amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31711084)

The mission times might be very conservative to make it seem like they did a good job putting the thing together.
I probably wouldn't look good if the news headlines read 'Mars rover fails halfway through primary mission'

Re:Amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31711444)

I can't wait to see what impact autonomous robots have in the next fifty years busy at work gathering solar system objects.

But... (4, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 4 years ago | (#31709494)

...isn't that kiddie porn? Those stars haven't even entered the main sequence yet! Even worse, they haven't had their first stellar wind yet! Somebody call the astrocops!

Re:But... (4, Funny)

Red Flayer (890720) | about 4 years ago | (#31709644)

They're not naked, for pete's sake. They are shrouded in interstellar dust.

We should be more concerned with the lack of parental oversight, didn't you ever read "Lord of the Skies"?

Pretty soon they'll be running around the cosmos wearing loincloths and putting pigs' heads on sticks and hunting each other down in the bush while celebrating the loss of their ability to make fire.

Well, maybe not that last bit, given the fact that they are stars.

Re:But... (1)

smartin14 (1430441) | about 4 years ago | (#31709824)

They're not naked, for pete's sake. They are shrouded in interstellar dust. We should be more concerned with the lack of parental oversight, didn't you ever read "Lord of the Skies"? Pretty soon they'll be running around the cosmos wearing loincloths and putting pigs' heads on sticks and hunting each other down in the bush while celebrating the loss of their ability to make fire. Well, maybe not that last bit, given the fact that they are stars.

I read "Lord of the Flies"...

Re:But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31709840)

Lord of the Flies?

Re:But... (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | about 4 years ago | (#31710028)

Lord of the Flies?

No, these are stars. Which were observed by the Spitzer telescope by observing the skies.

Yes, not exactly side-splitting humor, I know. But isn't that simple word-substitution joke obvious?

I must be really off today. You're the second person to think that was an error. Maybe I'll need to pepper my next joke post with more puns and word substitutions to make it less subtle.

Re:But... (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 4 years ago | (#31710130)

They're not naked, for pete's sake. They are shrouded in interstellar dust.

OK, OK... But they sure have to be careful not to be naked when they're overweight and old. I've heard there are some really scary laws about that.

Re:But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31710362)

First he has a career-destroying affair with a hooker, now Spitzer is destroying the innocence of our baby stars. Would someone please think of the children!.... err... stars.

Baby Stars (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31709516)

It's all relative. Those baby stars are already older than the whole history of our world (starting with the first cellular organisms).

And if they're babies it implies there is one or more parent (let's drop the male+female requirement). So who's the parent, and will he need to pay for the baby star college course?

If only... (-1, Offtopic)

cosm (1072588) | about 4 years ago | (#31709546)

The United States used the rest of its technology as resourcefully as NASA. Perhaps a Beowulf cluster of 4004's, some IR arrays, and some old DVD-Burner lasers, and you might have a great mosquito defense array (MDA, tm).

I'll tell you what, the first company that pays you for your electronic junk, in a streamlined manner, say, flat checks or cash, and then turns those old products back into reusable things, for say, kids toys, education, impoverished folks, charity, simple embedded systems, science, and sells it cheap, well that may be a good venture indeed. Sure better than letting all our old hardware seep component chemicals into the environment.

The real question is, could this theoretical company do it cheaper than China?

Spitzer and Dupré (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31709760)

Perhaps they should rename the stars Dupré:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eliot_Spitzer#Scandal_and_resignation

Backwards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31709784)

<pedant mode on> Wouldn't the colony of baby stars be shedding light on the telescope? Otherwise they wouldn't be seen. <end pedant mode>

Direction of light (5, Funny)

ch-chuck (9622) | about 4 years ago | (#31709798)

Wouldn't it be a little more accurate to say that a colony of baby stars shed light on the Spitzer Telescope?

Re:Direction of light (2, Insightful)

the_other_chewey (1119125) | about 4 years ago | (#31709864)

Wouldn't it be a little more accurate to say that a colony of baby stars shed light on the Spitzer Telescope?

I would certainly hope so. Otherwise, the size of the light on the telescope needed for any meaningful lighting on that
scale would double as a very decent planet vaporizer over the range of a couple million kilometers. I wouldn't want that thing
orbiting anywhere near our solar system...

Yuo fa1l it (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31709916)

series of 3ebates

Babby? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31709926)

How is babby star formed?

Re:Babby? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31710104)

how interstellar medium get pragnent

how is babby star formed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31710338)

I guess this is to answer the question of how it is formed.

Despite the hooker jokes... (2, Informative)

Jodka (520060) | about 4 years ago | (#31710930)

The Spitzer Telescope is name for American theoretical physicist and astronomer Lyman Spitzer [wikipedia.org], not the millionaire New York real estate tycoon Bernard Spitzer [wikipedia.org] (estimated worth $500 million) or his son, the philandering former Democratic Attorney General and Governor of New York State, Elliot Spitzer [wikipedia.org].

Re:Despite the hooker jokes... (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 4 years ago | (#31712434)

Drat. And here I was wondering when NASA was going to launch the Dupre Space Telescope.

This star nursery can be seen in IMAX 3D (1)

ChrisCampbell47 (181542) | about 4 years ago | (#31711366)

The new Hubble movie in IMAX 3D has two major flythrough visualizations using Hubble data. One of them is of the star nursey in the Orion Nebula.

Go see the movie. It actually wasn't playing in my (major!) city, and so last weekend I drove 4 hours roundtrip to go see it. I know, I know.

Sheds light? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31712396)

I thought telescopes sucked in light..... If they 'shed' light, it would be the greatest revelation since relativity came to light. It would be as novel a find as the recent groundbreaking research in seismology! ....I slay me....

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