Thursday, January 30, 2020

Goodbye To The Spitzer Infrared Space Telescope

Sometime today, January 30, 2020 the plug will be pulled and the Spitzer Infrared Space Telescope will cease to operate.  It has been in operation since late August, 2003.  It will be succeeded next yeat hopefully be a enew infrared space telescope named for James Webb.

Serving as the Chief  Scientist for this telescope has been the main life work of my brother-in-law, Michael W. Werner, who has since 1990 worked on it out of the Jet Propulsion Lab at Caltech.  He had stepped down as its administrator a few years ago, but was still working on projects associated with it, and will continue to do so as data will still need analyzing, and the forthcoming James Webb telescope will need guidance.

The many achievements of this telescope have been described and pictured in the excellent book Michael and Peter Eisenhart published this last year with Princeton University Press, More Things in the Heavens: How Infrared Astronomy is Expanding Our View of the Universe, which I highly recommend.

Barkley Rosser

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