First fruits of the spitzer space telescope: Galactic and solar system studies

Michael Werner, Giovanni Fazio, George Rieke, Thomas L. Roellig, Dan M. Watson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

38 Scopus citations


The Spitzer Space Telescope, launched in August 2003, is the infrared member of NASA's Great Observatory family. Spitzer combines the intrinsic sensitivity of a cryogenic telescope in space with the imaging and spectroscopic power of modern infrared detector arrays. This review covers early results from Spitzer that have produced major advances in our understanding of our own solar system and phenomena within the Galaxy. Spitzer has made the first detection of light from extrasolar planets, characterized planet-forming and planetary debris disks around solar-type stars, showed that substellar objects with masses smaller than 10 M Jup form through the same processes as do solar-mass stars, and studied in detail the composition of cometary ejecta in our Solar System. Spitzer's major technical advances will pave the way for yet more powerful future instruments. Spitzer should operate with full capabilities well into 2009, enabling several additional cycles of discovery and follow-up.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAnnual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics
EditorsRoger Blandford, John Kormendy, Ewine Dishoeck
Number of pages53
StatePublished - 2006

Publication series

NameAnnual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics
ISSN (Print)0066-4146


  • Brown dwarfs
  • Circumstellar disks
  • Exoplanets
  • Infrared astronomy
  • Planetary system formation
  • Space technology
  • Star formation
  • Stellar evolution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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