Dr Michael Jura, SIRTF
interdisciplinary scientist for planetary science at the University of California at Los Angeles, said:
This unique orbit will carry SIRTF
far enough from the Earth to allow the telescope to cool rapidly without having to carry large amounts of cryogen.
is the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA.
More than 20 years later, SIRTF
is in space, but it doesn't look anything like that old picture.
NASA waited until the first images were released--proof that SIRTF
was operational--before renaming it the Spitzer Space Telescope, after the late Princeton University astronomer Lyman Spitzer Jr.
In December astronomers showed off some spectacular early results from the Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF
) and also took the occasion to rename it.
NASA's recently launched Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF
), the Hubble Space Telescope's sister scope (S&T: February issue, page 42), will determine whether higher reflectivities are the norm among KBOs with satellites.
NASA'S SPACE INFRARED TELESCOPE Facility (SIRTF
) is poised to do for infrared astronomy what the Chandra X-ray Observatory did for X-ray astronomy: open up new vistas by peering more deeply than ever before in a waveband not detectable from the ground.
, on the other hand, can be launched into its Earth-trailing orbit around the Sun at any time of year, though its observing program will have to be replanned.
The long-awaited launch of SIRTF
, the last of NASA's Great Observatories, has slipped from January to at least April.
After a 25-year gestation period, NASA's Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF
) is poised to embark on an innovative mission of cosmic discovery.
They cover the full range of photon wavelengths, from radio (the Suffa Radio Telescope, under construction in Samarkand), to millimeter and submillimeter (LMSA, with a prototype under development in Japan for possible siting in Chile), infrared (SIRTF
, the mostly American Space Infrared Telescope Facility), ultraviolet (Spectrum-UV, spearheaded by Russia with European collaborators), X-rays (a proposed launch of a second Japanese-American ASTRO-E, the first having failed in January 2000), and on to gamma rays (INTEGRAL, under construction with European and some American input).