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10 images from NASA's Spitzer telescope

By: Katherine Butler on Nov. 9, 2011, 9:22 a.m.
atmosphere with a lot of reds and pinks in space

Photo: Spitzer Science Center/California Institute of Technology

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Spitzer's Sunflower

Messier 63 is also known as the Sunflower Galaxy, shown in all its infrared glory by Spitzer. As NASA shares, "Infrared light is sensitive to the dust lanes in spiral galaxies, which appear dark in visible-light images. Spitzer's view reveals complex structures that trace the galaxy's spiral arm pattern." Messier 63 is known to be 37 million light-years away. It is also 100,000 light-years across, which is about the size of our own Milky Way. Despite the amazing power of the images it captures, the Spitzer Space Telescope itself is rather small. It stands 13 feet tall and weighs about 1,906 pounds.