Spitzer NASA Official
Spitzer Space Telescope Wikipedia
The Spitzer Space Telescope (formerly the Space Infrared Telescope Facility or SIRTF) is an infrared space observatory, the fourth and final of NASA's Great Observatories.
The time frame of the mission will be a minimum of 2.5 years, with 5 or more optimal. In keeping with NASA tradition, the telescope was renamed after successful demonstration of operation, on December 18, 2003. Unlike most telescopes which are named after famous deceased astronomers by a board of scientists, the name for SIRTF was obtained from a contest open to the general public (to the delight of science educators).
Image of Andromeda Galaxy (M31) taken by Spitzer in infrared, MIPS, 24 micrometers.
The name chosen was that of Dr. Lyman Spitzer, Jr., the first to propose placing telescopes in space, in the mid-1940s.
The US$ 800 million Spitzer was launched on Monday 25 August 2003 at 1:35:39 (EDT) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on a Delta II 7920H ELV rocket. It follows a rather unusual orbit, heliocentric instead of geocentric, following earth in its orbit, and drifting away from Earth at approximately 0.1 astronomical unit per year (a so-called "earth-trailing" orbit). The primary mirror is 85 cm in diameter, f/12 (i. e. the focal length is 12 times the diameter of the primary mirror) and made of beryllium and cooled to 5.5 K. The satellite contains three instruments that will allow it to perform imaging and photometry from 3 to 180 micrometers, spectroscopy from 5 to 40 micrometers, and spectrophotometry from 5 to 100 micrometers.
* IRAC (Infrared Array Camera), an infrared camera which operates simultaneously on four wavelengths (3.6 µm, 4.5 µm, 5.8 µm and 8 µm). The resolution is 256 × 256 pixels.
* IRS (Infrared Spectrograph), an infrared spectrometer with four sub-modules which operate at the wavelengths 5.3-14 µm (low resolution), 10-19.5 µm (high resolution), 14-40 µm (low resolution), and 19-37 µm (high resolution).
* MIPS (Multiband Imaging Photometer for Spitzer), three detector arrays in the far infrared (128 × 128 pixels at 24 µm, 32 × 32 pixels at 70 µm, 2 × 20 pixels at 160 µm)