IRSA Featured Images
2MASS image of IRAS 20306+4005, an object in the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS)
catalog of sources. Little is known about this object, but it appears to be a region of current massive star formation in
the Galactic plane and near the Cygnus 0B2 stellar association. This is the first known near-infrared image of this source.
Infrared-bright filaments of gas surround a young cluster of stars and young stellar objects still embedded in their natal
dusty molecular cloud. A large patch of heavily-obscuring dust is seen to the north of the nebula. 2MASS is ideal for
investigating the nature of many IRAS objects and other very young star-forming regions throughout the Galaxy.
Image credit: S. Van Dyk (IPAC)
WISE J104915.57-531906 is at the center of the larger image, which was taken by the NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer
(WISE). This is the closest star system discovered since 1916, and the third closest to our sun.
It is 6.5 light-years away. At first, the light appeared to be from a single object, but a sharper image (inset) from Gemini Observatory
in Chile revealed that it was from a pair of cool star-like bodies called brown dwarfs.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Gemini Observatory/AURA/NSF
This image shows Planck's first detection of intercluster gas using the SZ effect.
The 10 million light year long bridge of hot gas connects the galaxy clusters Abell 401 (upper left) and Abell 399
(lower center), at a redshift of 0.07.
Image credit: ESA Planck Collaboration and STScI Digitized Sky Survey
The giant star Zeta Ophiuchi is having a "shocking" effect on the surrounding dust clouds in this Spitzer image.
Zeta Ophiuchi is a young, large and hot star located around 370 light-years away. It dwarfs our own sun in many ways -- it is about six times hotter, eight
times wider, 20 times more massive, and about 80,000 times as bright. It would be one of the brightest stars in the sky were it not largely obscured by foreground dust clouds.
This massive star is travelling at a snappy pace of about 54,000 mph (24 kilometers per second), fast enough to break the sound barrier in the surrounding interstellar material. Because of this motion, it creates a spectacular bow shock ahead of its direction of travel (to the left).
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
RCW 38 is at a distance of ~1.7 kpc (~5500 light years) from us, near the famous Vela supernova remnant and the Gum nebula.
This starforming region contains a number of highly massive O stars embedded in a dense obscuring cloud. The stars are
about 2 million years old, indicating that star formation is ongoing is this relatively young region. As seen in the
2MASS near-infrared Image mosaic, the nebulosity associated with RCW 38 is extensive across
a large area, with dust lanes and patches running throughout. Other, smaller obscured star-forming regions are nearby, with
less-obscured young, massive stars and associated reflection nebulae also in the field.
Image credit: 2MASS/R. Hurt
This image of the dusty star WISE J180956.27-330500.2 (the orange star in the upper left) compares WISE
12- and 22-micron data (green and red, respectively) with IRAS 12 micron
data (blue). The star has brightened by a factor of 100 between the IRAS and WISE observations. This appears to
have been caused by a sudden eruption in the star around 15 years ago. Dust freshly created in this event
is heated by starlight and glows at infrared wavelengths.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
The Space Shuttle Endeavour flies over IPAC. Endeavour's support of the missions archived at IRSA includes
flying the first of the Hubble servicing missions in December 1993
(HST data are a key component of the COSMOS project) and recovering the
IRTS in January 1996.
Image credit: J. Llamas (IPAC)
Comet IRAS-Araki-Alcock was discovered by the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) and
made the closest known approach to earth of any comet within the last 200 years. This color image shows part of the 200,000 km
long tail of warm dust stretching out behind the comet. In this image, made at a wavelength of 25 microns, the bright red area
represents the unresolved nucleus of the comet, while the fainter emission from the tail of the comet is yellow and blue.
Image credit: IPAC
Spitzer image of Herbig-Haro 34. This image shows two jets (green = 4.5 micron); the
jet on the left is buried behind a dark cloud, and thus cannot be seen in visible-light images. This image shows that
both of the twin jets are made up of identical knots of gas and dust, ejected one after another from the area around the
star. By studying the spacing of these knots, and knowing the speed of the jets from previous studies, astronomers were
able to determine that the visible jet (to the right of the star) punches its material out 4.5 years later than the counter-jet.
Image credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / A. Raga (ICN/UNAM) & A. Noriega-Crespo (SSC/Caltech)
2MASS images of Uranus, Neptune, and their moons. Uranus and Neptune were observed serendipitously by
the 2MASS Southern Facility, during routine operations on 1998 June 7 and June 11 UT, respectively. Both planets appear very blue, i.e.,
they are not nearly as bright in the Ks band as in the shorter wavelength bands, due to more reflection of sunlight at short wavelengths
and to absorption of light by methane gas in their atmospheres.
Image credit: B. Nelson (IPAC)
This image from WISE shows four galaxies in the Virgo cluster:
Messier 59, Messier 60, NGC4647, and NGC4638. It also shows the tracks of three asteroids, which
appear in this image as trails of green dots.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/WISE Team
The Moon as seen in the mid-IR by MSX.
Image credit: DCATT Team, MSX Project, BMDO
A portion of the Triffid Nebula from the Spitzer Enhanced Imaging Super Mosaics.
Image credit: J. Llamas (IPAC)
WISE has discovered the coldest known brown dwarf, WISE 1828+2650, shown in green on this image.
WISE 1828+2650 is a Y dwarf with a temperature less than 80 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius).
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA
|This false-color 2MASS mosaic shows the intermediate-age Galactic supernova remnant IC 443, which is at a distance of about 1.5 kpc. What can be seen over this large area are two regions of near-infrared emission from the remnant. The bright bluish arc to the northeast appears to be line emission from excited iron in these remnant filaments, bright in the J band. Along the south, from east to west, is the interaction of the remnant with the nearby molecular cloud. The supernova shock is exciting 2.12-micron H_2 molecular line emission, very bright in the Ks band. Image credit: E. Kopan (IPAC).|
|This false-color mosaic of the central region of the Coma cluster combines infrared and visible-light images to reveal thousands of faint objects (green). Follow-up observations showed that many of these objects, which appear here as faint green smudges, are dwarf galaxies belonging to the cluster. Two large elliptical galaxies, NGC 4889 and NGC 4874, dominate the cluster's center. The mosaic combines visible-light data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (color coded blue) with long- and short-wavelength infrared views (red and green, respectively) from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/L. Jenkins (GSFC)|
|WISE recently discovered the first Earth Trojan asteroid. Asteroid 2010 TK7 is circled in green, while the majority of the other dots are stars or galaxies far beyond our solar system. This image was taken in infrared light at a wavelength of 4.6 microns in Oct. 2010. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA|
|Herschel's observation of the star-forming cloud RCW 120 has revealed an embryonic star which looks set to turn into one of the biggest and brightest stars in our Galaxy within the next few hundred thousand years. It already contains eight to ten times the mass of the Sun and is still surrounded by an additional 2000 solar masses of gas and dust from which it can feed further. IRSA will provide seamless access to the Herschel archive as well as curation of Key Project enhanced products. Image credit: ESA/PACS/SPIRE/HOBYS Consortia|
|NGC 2024, also known as the Flame Nebula, is located at a distance of 400-500 pc and is part of the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex (Orion B). To the south of the NGC 2024 region lies NGC 2023 (a well-studied photo-dissociation region) and the Horsehead Nebula. At near-infrared wavelengths as shown in this 2MASS image, a dense stellar cluster is revealed in the dark lane separating the two halves of the flame. Image credit: E. Kopan and R. Hurt (IPAC)|
|Maffei 2 is the poster child for an infrared galaxy that is almost invisible to optical telescopes. Foreground dust clouds in the Milky Way block about 99.5% of its visible light, but this infrared image from NASAs Spitzer Space Telescope penetrates this dust to reveal the galaxy in all its glory. This Spitzer image clearly shows the unusual structure of Maffei 2. The strong central bar and asymmetric spiral arms help identify why the galaxy also harbors a starburst in its very core. Such dramatic bursts of star formation occur when massive amounts of dust and gas are driven into the center of a galaxy, often by gravitational interactions that create barred spiral structures in its disk. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/J. Turner (UCLA)|
|The planetary nebula NGC1514 as seen by WISE. The object is actually a pair of stars -- one star is a dying giant somewhat heavier and hotter than our sun, and the other was an even larger star that has now contracted into a white dwarf. As the giant star ages, it sheds some its outer layers of material to form a large bubble around the two stars. Jets of material from the white dwarf are thought to have smashed into this bubble wall. The areas where the jets hit the cavity walls appear as orange rings in the WISE image. In this image, 3.4 microns is blue; 4.6-micron light is cyan; 12-micron light is green; and 22-micron light is red. IRSA hosts the WISE archive, with the first public data release on April 14, 2011. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA|
|The immense Andromeda galaxy M31 is captured in full in this new image from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE). The mosaic covers an area of five degrees across the sky. WISE used all four of its infrared detectors to capture this picture (3.4- and 4.6-micron light is colored blue; 12-micron light is green; and 22-micron light is red). Blue highlights mature stars, while yellow and red show dust heated by newborn, massive stars. IRSA hosts the WISE archive, with the first public data release in April 2011. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/WISE Team|
|This image is a three-colour combination constructed from Planck's two highest frequency channels (557 and 857 GHz, corresponding to wavelengths of 540 and 350 micrometres), and an image at the shorter wavelength of 100 micrometres obtained with the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS). This combination effectively traces the dust: reddish tones correspond to temperatures as cold as 12 degrees above absolute zero, and whitish tones to significantly warmer ones (of order a few tens of degrees) in regions where massive stars are currently forming. Overall, the image shows local dust structures within 500 light years of the Sun. Image credit: ESA and the HFI Consortium, IRAS|
|This infrared image of the heart of the Orion star-formation complex was taken from the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) using the FORCAST mid-infrared camera during one of SOFIA's first science flights. The image is a two color composite (green - 20 microns, red - 37 microns). IRSA will host the SOFIA archive. Image credit: NASA/SOFIA/USRA/FORCAST Team|
|The merging galaxy system II Zw 096, shown here in a combination of HST and Spitzer data, contains a luminous off-nuclear starburst that produces 80 percent of the infrared light. This is the brightest off-nuclear starburst ever seen, and the star formation rate is approximately 100 solar masses per year. II Zw 096 is part of the GOALS Spitzer Legacy program. In this image, HST 0.15 micron SBC data and 0.44 micron ACS data are shown in blue, 0.9 micron ACS data are shown in cyan, Spitzer 4.5 micron IRAC data are shown in orange, and 8 micron IRAC and 24 micron MIPS data are shown in red. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/H. Inami (SSC/Caltech)|
|The Galactic Center as seen by 2MASS. This 8 degree by 10 degree image includes almost 10 million resolved stars. Image credit: 2MASS/G. Kopan, R. Hurt (IPAC/Caltech).|
|The Orion Nebula as seen by Spitzer's IRAC camera. The data were taken after the start of the Spitzer "warm" mission; blue shows 3.6 micron data and orange shows 4.5 micron data. The Spitzer Heritage Archive (SHA) contains all Spitzer data, including warm mission data. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/J. Stauffer (SSC/Caltech).|
|The galaxy IC 342 as seen by WISE. This galaxy is hidden behind the disk of the Milky Way at visual wavelengths, but can be clearly seen by WISE in the mid-infrared (3.4, 4.6, 12, and 22 microns). WISE achieved full coverage of the entire sky on 17 July 2010, and will continue to survey the sky until the cryogen runs out this fall. WISE data will be available through IRSA starting in Spring 2011. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/WISE Team.|
|The first Planck all sky survey, covering one year of observations, shows the microwave sky from 30 to 857 GHz. IRSA will begin serving Planck's Early Release Compact Source Catalog in early 2011. Image credit: ESA, HFI, & LFI consortia.|
|This 2MASS image of the globular cluster 47 Tucanae covers an area 34 arcminutes on a side. 47 Tuc is the second brightest globular cluster in the sky, and contains about a million stars 20,000 light years from Earth. Image credit: 2MASS/T. Jarrett (IPAC).|
|A Wordle of the titles of all papers citing IRSA services or datasets in the past six months (November 2009 - April 2010). IRSA continues to be cited by roughly 10% of all refereed astronomical journal articles, unchanged from previous years. The Wordle illustrates the breadth of scientific research making use of IRSA. Image credit: J. Howell (IRSA).|
|This Spitzer mosaic of the Large Magellanic Cloud was created as part of the "Surveying the Agents of a Galaxy's Evolution" (SAGE) legacy program. In this three color composite covering more than seven degrees on a side, blue is 3.6 microns, green is 8 microns, and red is 24 microns. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/M. Meixner (STScI) & the SAGE Legacy Team.|
|These galaxies drawn from the Cosmic Evolution Survey (COSMOS) illustrate the buildup of structure over cosmic time. Each row of galaxies is labeled by redshift (distance), from nearby galaxies at redshift 0.1 to an extremely distant galaxy beginning to form at redshift 5.7. Image Credit: P. Capak (SSC) and the COSMOS team.|
|This infrared snapshot of a region in the constellation Carina near the Milky Way was taken shortly after NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) ejected its cover. The "first-light" picture shows thousands of stars and covers an area three times the size of the Moon. Over the course of the mission, WISE will take more than a million similar pictures covering the whole sky. The initial WISE data release at IRSA is scheduled for Spring 2011. This eight-second exposure shows infrared light from three of WISE's four wavelength bands: Blue, green and red correspond to 3.4, 4.6, and 12 microns, respectively. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA|
|Spectra of carbon, water, molecular oxygen, and carbon monoxide in the Eagle Nebula (M16) were observed by the Submillimeter Wave Astronomy Satellite (SWAS). A Spitzer color composite of 4.5 micron (blue), 8 micron (green), and 24 micron (red) data from the GLIMPSE and MIPSGAL Legacy projects is shown in the background. Image credits: SWAS Team (Harvard-CfA); N. Flagey, A. Noriega-Crespo (SSC).|
|The Keyhole Nebula in Carina, as seen by 2MASS. Eta Carinae, in the lower left portion of the nebula, is one of the most massive stars known in the Milky Way at around 100 Solar masses. Image credit: 2MASS/G. Kopan (IPAC).|
|An infrared portrait of the Milky Way - from top to bottom the panels of this mosaic image cover more than 50% of the Galaxy. The data were taken as part of the Galactic Legacy Infrared Mid-Plane Survey Extraordinaire (GLIMPSE) project. In this four-color composite, blue is 3.6 microns, green is 4.5 microns, orange is 5.8 microns, and red is 8.0 microns. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/E. Churchwell (University of Wisconsin).|
|Large scale structure in the local Universe (out to a redshift z=0.2) in the 2MASS XSCz catalog, derived from the 2MASS Extended Source Catalog (XSC). Different colors represent galaxies at different distances. Credit: Tom Jarrett (IPAC).|
|Galaxies in the Local Volume Legacy survey (LVL), a study of 258 of the nearest galaxies. In these three-color images, 3.6 um emission is blue, 8 um emission is green, and 24 um emission is red. Credit: Shawn Staudaher (U. Wyoming) and the LVL team.|
|Known throughout the world under various names -- Subaru to the Japanese, Matarii ("Little Eyes") to the natives of Tonga, Athur-ai ("The Stars of Hathor") to the ancient Egyptians -- the Pleiades (as it was known to the ancient Greeks) is a cluster of naked-eye stars located in the constellation Taurus, the Bull. This cluster is now known to be a collection of relatively young stars, their births having occurred only 100 to 125 million years ago. The brightest stars shown here are those visible to the naked eye on a clear winter's night and represent hot blue giants much more massive than our Sun; the faintest members of the cluster are faint red dwarfs only a tenth of the Sun's mass. The blue, green, and red channels of this three-color image were made from B-, R-, and I-band images, respectively, from the Digitized Sky Survey. Image courtesy of Inseok Song (U. Georgia) and created with Montage v3.0 using this script.|
|The interacting galaxy pair NGC 877 (face-on) and NGC 876 (edge-on) as seen by the GOALS Spitzer Legacy Project. This false-color view is made from IRAC 3.6 (blue), 4.5 (green), and 5.8 (red) um images.|
Density maps for four all-sky or large-area catalogs served by IRSA: the 2MASS All-Sky Point Source Catalog, the IRAS Point Source Catalog, the DENIS 3rd Release Catalog, and the USNO-B1.0 Catalog. These catalogs can be searched using the IRSA general search engine.
An Aitoff projection in Galactic coordinates showing two IRSA archived data sets. The blue and green image components represent the sky as seen by 2MASS at J and Ks bands; these have been combined with a red/yellow image of the IRAS/COBE 100 micron data from Schlegel et al. (1998). To give positional context, the brightest 2000 stars at V band have been added as white dots.
Located just north of Regulus (seen as the bright spray off the bottom of the image), the Leo-I galaxy is a dwarf spheroidal satellite galaxy to our own Milky Way and is the most distant of the fifteen Milky Way satellites known. This three-color view spans a 0.5x0.5-degree region and was created from 45 separate images from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. The SDSS g-, r-, and i-bands map to the image's blue, green, and red channels, respectively. The mosaic was created with the IRSA On-Demand Image Mosaic Service and Montage v3.0.
Side-by-side comparison of the 0.2 x 0.2 degree J-band mosaics of Abell 3558 from (left) the main survey Atlas and (right) the full survey image archive. The full survey atlas has about 17 repeated scans on the B cluster core.
A 2x2 arcminute field centered at J2000 coordinates 09:58:48.04 +02:02:28.0 in the Cosmic Evolution Survey (COSMOS) field. This image is a cutout of the Hubble Space Telescope Advanced Camera for Surveys mosaic acquired in the F814W (roughly I-band) filter. All COSMOS data that have been released to the public are available through IRSA.
The Statistics Service for the 2MASS All-Sky Point Source Catalog provides quick estimates of the number of 2MASS sources that lie within a given radius of a sky location. It also provides plots and tables of magnitude and color distributions for sources in the region — the plots on the left compare the J-H (red), H-Ks (green), and J-Ks (blue) color histograms for an area well out of the Galactic plane (top) to the same distributions for a field along the plane (bottom).
A 5-arcminute square view around the exoplanet host star, Gliese 581, using data provided by FinderChart and combined into a three-color image by Montage. DSS1 Bj-band, DSS2 R-band, and 2MASS J-band images are color coded as blue, green and red, respectively. Not only is the high motion of Gliese 581 itself obvious over the three epochs (1955, 1991, and 1999), but also obvious are artifacts in the DSS1 and 2MASS image sets (click on image for annotations) and an unrelated (and uncataloged?) star of smaller proper motion to the south-southeast of Gliese 581. For more data sets on the exoplanet host star, see the IRSA-Vizier inventory service.
|A small portion of the Chandra Deep Field South region as taken by the Spitzer Wide-area InfraRed Extragalactic Survey (SWIRE) Legacy Project. This 3-color jpeg preview image is a mosaic of IRAC channels 1, 2, and 4 where the 3.6, 4.5, and 8.0 micron data are color coded as blue, green, and red, respectively. Science products from this and other Spitzer Legacy Programs can be found in the Spitzer section of the IRSA holdings.|
|A continuum-subtracted H-alpha image mosaic of the supernova remnant S147, constructed using Montage. The total imaged area is roughly 5 x 3.5 square degrees. The bright "blob" to the left of the picture is a more typically compact Galactic nebula. Credit: Isaac Newton Telescope (INT) Photometric H-alpha Survey of the Northern Galactic Plane; Albert Zijlstra, University of Manchester; Jonathan Irwin, IoA Cambridge.|
|An Aitoff projection in Galactic coordinates showing sky coverage for the proper motion survey of Lepine et al. (2005, the LSPM-North Catalog). This and hundreds of other catalogs can be explored using the NVO Quick Sky Statistics service, hosted at IRSA. The service generates source counts, coverage maps, and links to downloadable data for all catalogs at IRSA, NED and CDS VizieR.|
|The SBb LINER galaxy NGC 1097 as taken with the Infrared Array Camera (IRAC) onboard the Spitzer Space Telescope. This image, part of the Spitzer Infrared Nearby Galaxy Survey (SINGS), is a three-color mosaic preview comprised of 3.6 um (blue), 4.5 um (green), and 8.0 um (red) data. Science products from this and other Spitzer Legacy Programs can be found in the Spitzer section of the IRSA holdings.|
|This three-color mosaic of part of the Galactic Plane represents a tiny portion of the GLIMPSE data available through IRSA. GLIMPSE (the Galactic Legacy Infrared Midplane Survey Extraordinaire) is a Spitzer Legacy Science Program that is surveying the inner portion of the Milky Way Galaxy. This and other Spitzer Legacy Science products can be found in the Spitzer section of the IRSA holdings.|