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Artistic view of spitzer telescope with black sky in background.
Artistic view of Spitzer with sun like start behind it.
Artistic view of Spitzer with rocky planet in background
Artistic view of Spitzer with four quadrants of different planets in background.

Spitzer Facts:

- Spitzer operates in infrared light; with a mirror less than 1 meter in diameter, Spitzer in space is more sensitive than even a 10-meter-diameter telescope on Earth.

- Spitzer was the first spacecraft to fly in an Earth-trailing orbit.

- Spitzer wasn't designed to study exoplanets. 

- Spitzer discovered Saturn's largest ring.

Experience an immersive universe of infrared light as you follow the mission of NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope in VR. Spitzer is one of NASA's Great Observatories, and will be concluding its mission on January 30th 2020.


This immersive video will take you through Spitzer's 16+ year mission, showing you how Spitzer observes the universe and the kinds of limitations and challenges faced by all space-based observatories. You can explore the many science results of the Spitzer mission at:


This experience was developed by the Communications and Education group at Caltech/IPAC. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the Spitzer Space Telescope mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate. Science operations are conducted at the Spitzer Science Center at Caltech/IPAC.

Related Papers:

de Wit, J., Gillon, M., Demory, B.-O., 7 Seager,  S. (2012), A&A, 548, A128

"Towards consistent mapping of distant worlds: secondary-eclipse scanning of the exoplanet HD18733b”

Demory, B.-O., de Wit, J., Lewis, N., Fortney, J., Zsom, A., et al. (2013), ApJL, 776:L25. Press Release

“Inference of Inhomogeneous Clouds in an Exoplanet Atmosphere”.

Gillon, M., Jehin, E., Lederer, S., Delrez, L., de Wit, J., et al. (2016),  Nature, 533, 221. Press Release

“Temperate Earth-sized planets transiting a nearby ultracool dwarf star”

Demory, B.-O., Gillon, M., de Wit, J., Madhusudhan, N., et al. (2016), Nature, 532, 207. Press Release

“A map of the large day-night temperature gradient of a super-Earth exoplanet”

de Wit, J., Lewis, N., Langton, J., Laughlin, G., Deming, D., et al. (2016),  ApJL, 820, L33. Press Release

“Direct Measure of Radiative and Dynamical Properties of an Exoplanet Atmosphere”

de Wit, J., Lewis, N., Knutson, H., Fuller, J., Antoci, V., et al. (2017) , ApJL, 836, L17. Press Release.

“Planet-induced Stellar Pulsations in HAT-P-2’s Eccentric System”

Gillon, M., Triaud, A., Demory, B.-O., de Wit, J., et al.  (2017),  Nature, 542, 456. Press Release 

“Seven temperate terrestrial planets around the nearby ultracool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1”

Delrez, L., Gillon, M., Triaud, A.H.M.J., Demory, B.-O., de Wit, J., et al. (2018), MNRAS, 475, 3, 3577

“Early 2017 observations of TRAPPIST-1 with Spitzer”

Grimm, S., … de Wit, J.,  et al (2018), A&A, 613, A68

“The nature of the TRAPPIST-1 exoplanets”

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