6002 days after its launch into the near-Earth space, one of NASA’s most efficient Spitzer telescopes officially completes its work. On January 30, 2020, the Mission Control Center uploaded the remaining device data and sent the last command to transfer the telescope to safe mode. At 14:34 local time, project manager Joseph Hunt officially announced the decommissioning of Spitzer and its termination. It is known that the device has long been one of NASA’s four largest observatories, second only to the Hubble Space Telescope in terms of performance. What will the telescope be remembered for and what pictures will immortalize the device in the memory of all astronomy lovers?
What is the Spitzer telescope famous for?
16 years after an active study of the Universe in infrared light, inaccessible to the human eye, the NASA Spitzer space telescope mission came to an end. According to an article published on sciencealert.com, the telescope was launched in 2003, and although it was planned to find the device in space for only 5 years, the Spitzer was much more resilient than the researchers had expected.
At the time of its launch, the telescope was the most sensitive infrared instrument ever made with human hands. Due to its unique capabilities, Spitzer was the first telescope to detect light coming from distant exoplanets. So, it was this device that was able to detect four of the seven planets orbiting the star Trappist-1, and also give them some characteristic.
Astrophysicist Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA’s Deputy Administrator of the Science Mission Directorate, argues that it was thanks to Spitzer’s work that the modern world has come a long way in understanding how our vast universe works. So, timely observations of a space telescope once helped us discover the most distant galaxy we have ever found.
Despite the fact that the work of “Spitzer” is officially stopped, its legacy in the form of the James Webb telescope, which is due to be launched in 2021, promises even more impressive discoveries due to the presence of even more advanced infrared devices in the device. “Spitzer” himself now goes on an endless space journey to the stars, about which he told us so much. Before finally disappearing into oblivion, the telescope once again flies past the Earth after 53 years, and then we finally lose sight of it.