IRSA Featured Images

January 11, 2020
This Spitzer image shows the edge-on spiral galaxy NGC 5866.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
December 9, 2020
This 2MASS image shows NGC 3603 (left) and NGC 3576 (right), among the largest HII regions in the Galaxy. NGC 3603 is about twice as far away as NGC 3576.

Image credit: E. Kopan (IPAC)
September 1, 2020
Right panel: Image of Comet 2020 F3 NEOWISE, with the NEOWISE spacecraft passing through the foreground (diagonal streak). Left panel: the field NEOWISE imaged at that time.

Image credit: A. Schiano (right); NASA/JPL-Caltech (left)
June 24, 2020
Far-infrared polarimetry with SOFIA's HAWC+ instrument measured the magnetic field throughout the nearby Seyfert galaxy NGC 1068. The magnetic field streamlines are shown over a visible light and x-ray composite image using Hubble, SDSS, and NuSTAR data.

Image credit: NASA/SOFIA; NASA/JPL-Caltech/Roma Tre Univ.
May 5, 2020
This Spitzer image from the SINGS Legacy program shows the galaxy M82, with dust (red) being blown out by the starburst in the core of the galaxy.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/C. Engelbracht (University of Arizona)
March 26, 2020
This Herschel image of the Aquila Rift shows the extended filamentary structure of this star- forming cloud. Over 500 compact cores have been detected embedded in the filaments in this region. The two glowing cavities on opposite sides of the image are HII regions.

Image credit: ESA/Herschel/SPIRE/PACS/Ph. Andre (CEA Saclay)
January 21, 2020
This NEOWISE image shows the comet C/2018 Y1 Iwamoto in a series of exposures taken on Feb. 25, 2019.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
December 9, 2019
2MASS image of the galaxy cluster Abell 3627, a very rich galaxy cluster. It lies near the center of the Great Attractor, the center of a large mass concentration of galaxies and galaxy clusters known as the Local Supercluster.

Image credit: S. Van Dyk (IPAC)
November 19, 2019
This Spitzer image shows the galaxy NGC 1291, with a bright star-forming ring (red, 8 microns) in the outer disk.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
October 23, 2019
Betelgeuse as seen by Herschel's PACS instrument (70-160 microns). The arc to the left is from material ejected from the star, shaped by its bow shock as it moves through the interstellar medium at around 30 km/s. The linear bar of dust to the left is a separate feature which the bow shock will reach in 5,000 years and Betelgeuse will reach in 12,500 years.

Image credit: ESA/Herschel/PACS/L. Decin et al.
August 27, 2019
ESA's Gaia mission measured the position and brightness of 1.7 billion stars, with distances, proper motions, and colors for more than 1.3 billion stars.

Image credit: ESA/Gaia/DPAC
June 13, 2019
This WISE image shows the Circinus galaxy. At a distance of 14 million light years, it is one of the nearest galaxies, but difficult to observe since it lies behind the disk of the Milky Way. Circinus has an active galactic nucleus, as well as two extended spiral arms.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/WISE Team
May 8, 2019
This 2MASS image shows NGC 3199, a partial ring blown by the wind from the Wolf-Rayet star WR 18 (leftmost of the three bright stars near center). Wolf-Rayet stars represent the final evolutionary stage of very massive stars (~30 solar masses or more).

Image credit: S. Van Dyk (IPAC)
March 21, 2019
The galaxy cluster called MOO J1142+1527 can be seen here in Spitzer 3.6 micron (red), Gemini optical and near-IR (blue, green), and CARMA radio observations (purple).

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Gemini/CARMA
December 14, 2018
IRSA will host the SOFIA Science Data Archive starting in February 2019. The first release will consist of FIFI-LS, FORCAST, and GREAT data from Cycles 4 & 5.

Image credit: NASA/Jim Ross
October 18, 2018
Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) as seen by NEOWISE during the comet's perihelion passage in January 2015.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
August 21, 2018
This image shows the W3/W4/W5 molecular cloud complex as seen by Herschel's PACS instrument (cyan, 70 microns; orange, 100 microns).

Image credit: ESA/Herschel/NASA/JPL-Caltech; acknowledgement: R. Hurt (JPL-Caltech)
May 15, 2018
This image is a composite of 2MASS J (blue), Ks (green), and MSX Band A (6 - 11 micron, red) imaging of the Galactic Center.

Image credit: E. Kopan (IPAC)
March 27, 2018
New detailed radio observations of UGC 10288 from the VLA revealed that the large perpendicular extension of UGC 10288's halo (blue) is really a distant background galaxy with radio jets. Infrared observations from the Spitzer Space Telescope and Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) are yellow and orange, respectively.

Image credit: VLA/NASA/JPL-Caltech/SDSS/NOAO/University of Manitoba
February 27, 2018
This image shows the Pinwheel Galaxy, also known as M101, as viewed by ESA's Herschel Space Observatory. Lying more than 20 million light-years from us, this spiral galaxy is similar in shape to our Milky Way, but it is almost twice as large.

Image credit: ESA/Herschel/NASA/JPL-Caltech
December 5, 2017
These Spitzer images show the afterglow of the neutron star merger GW170817 in NGC 4993.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
September 12, 2017
This 2MASS image shows the Small Magellanic Cloud. Much of the bar structure can still be seen, and the bright HII region, NGC 346, is prominent. The near-infrared light is dominated by cool, red supergiant and lower-mass red giant stars.

Image credit: T. Jarrett (IPAC)
July 18, 2017
This image from WISE shows star formation in the Tadpole Nebula (IC 0410).

Image credit: WISE/IRSA/NASA/F. Antonucci
May 10, 2017
This figure shows 500 hours of Spitzer observations of the nearby ultracool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1. Transits of seven rocky planets (three of which lie in the habitable zone) are clearly visible.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/M. Gillon (Univ. of Liege, Belgium)
March 22, 2017
The edge-on spiral galaxy NGC 4565 is shown in this 2MASS image.

Image credit: S. van Dyk (IPAC)
February 7, 2017
The Helix Nebula is surrounded by asteroid tracks in this WISE image.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA
December 12, 2016
This image of NGC 1333 combines data from Spitzer (red), Chandra (pink), and the DSS.

Image credit: NASA/CXC/JPL-Caltech/NOAO/DSS
November 15, 2016
This map shows the distribution of water in the stratosphere of Jupiter as measured with Herschel. The map has been superimposed over an image of Jupiter at visible wavelengths taken with Hubble. The distribution of water is asymmetric with greater abundance in the southern hemisphere. Based on this and other evidence, 95% of the water in Jupiter's stratosphere is believed to have come from the impact of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 in 1994.

Image credit: Water map: ESA/Herschel/T. Cavali et al.; Jupiter image: NASA/ESA/Reta Beebe (NMSU)
September 26, 2016
This image shows the star cluster NGC2024 at the center of the Flame Nebula. Spitzer data is shown in red, green, and blue, with Chandra X-ray data in purple.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech & NASA/CXC/PSU/K.Getman, E.Feigelson, M.Kuhn & the MYStIX team
August 30, 2016
This WISE 3-band image shows the reflection nebula DG129 and the triple-star system Pi Scorpii (right).

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/WISE Team
May 31, 2016
This Palomar Transient Factory image shows M33 in H-alpha (red), R (green), and g (blue).

Image credit: A. Waszczak
April 26, 2016
This Spitzer/2MASS mosaic shows IC 417 (Spider nebula). A 2015 NASA/IPAC Teacher Archive Research Program project focused on identifying new stars in the nebula.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/2MASS
March 23, 2016
This Herschel image shows filament G49, with a mass of 80,000 solar masses, a length of 280 light years, and a diameter of 5 light years. G49 is about 18,000 light years away.

Image credit: ESA/Herschel/PACS/SPIRE/Wang et al. 2015
February 23, 2016
WISE image of the Tadpole Nebula, with asteroids 1719 Jens (center) and 1992 UZ5 (upper left) highlighted. The streak at top center is a satellite.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
December 15, 2015
NGC 6334, also known as the Cat's Paw Nebula, is shown in this 42' by 42' 2MASS mosaic. The nebula lies in the Galactic plane just south and west of the Galactic center.

Image credit: S. Van Dyk (IPAC)
October 20, 2015
A merger between gas-rich galaxies triggered star formation in the center of the galaxy cluster SpARCS1049+56. A tidal tail extends below the central cluster galaxy. This image shows Spitzer IRAC 3.6 μm in red, and HST WFC3 1.1 and 1.6 μm in blue and green.

Image credit: NASA/ESA/STScI/JPL-Caltech/McGill
September 15, 2015
The HG-WELS team in the NASA/IPAC Teacher Archive Research Program (NITARP) used a wide variety of IRSA data sets and tools to identify IR excesses around giant stars, recently published in AJ.

Image credit: L. Rebull (IPAC)
July 29, 2015
Neutron star nebula seen by WISE (red/green/blue) and Chandra (gold). PSR B1509-58 is a spinning neutron star surrounded by a cloud of energetic particles, about 17,000 light years from Earth.

Image credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO; Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech
May 26, 2015
Galaxy clusters discovered by Planck are shown as black dots on this all sky map.

Image credit: ESA/Planck Collaboration/Dole, Guery, & Hurier, IAS/U. Paris-Sud/CNRS/CNES
April 29, 2015
Ceres is seen against the Virgo Cluster of galaxies in this 2MASS mosaic. The spiral galaxy M100 is at the upper left.

Image credit: IPAC
March 26, 2015
Even the smallest dots in this image of the COSMOS field are galaxies, some up to 12 billion light-years away. The picture is a combination of infrared data from Spitzer (red) and visible-light data (blue and green) from Japan's Subaru telescope atop Mauna Kea in Hawaii.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
February 6, 2015
Comet C/2013 UQ4 (Catalina) was observed by NEOWISE just one day after its closest approach to the sun. The comet glows brightly in infrared wavelengths, with a dust tail streaking more than 62,000 miles (100,000 kilometers) across the sky. C/2013 UQ4 takes more than 450 years to orbit the sun in a retrograde orbit. The comet was originally thought to be an asteroid, as it appeared inactive when discovered in October 2013.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
January 27, 2015
Planck visualization showing dust temperature as color, with magnetic polarization shown as the relief map.

Image credit: ESA/Planck Collaboration
December 16, 2014
This infrared image combines data from Spitzer with shorter-wavelength observations from 2MASS, letting us peer into the clouds of dust wrapped around this stellar nursery. The inner Serpens Cloud Core is remarkably detailed in this image, as it was assembled from 82 separate snapshots totaling 16.2 hours of Spitzer observing time. Serpens is one of several star-forming regions targeted by the Young Stellar Object Variability (YSOVAR) project.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/2MASS
November 20, 2014
2MASS mosaic of the Omega Nebula (M17). The giant molecular cloud associated with M17 is one of the most luminous and active star-forming complexes in the Milky Way, and contains one of the youngest and richest stellar clusters in our galaxy.

Image credit: E. Kopan (IPAC)
September 16, 2014
NGC4258 as seen by NASA's Great Observatories. This composite of Chandra X-ray data, Hubble optical data, Spitzer infrared data, and VLA radio data shows huge bubbles of hot gas above and below the plane of the galaxy. NGC4258 is part of the LVL Spitzer Legacy Program.

Image credit: NASA/CXC/JPL-Caltech/STScI/NSF/NRAO/VLA
August 19, 2014
NEOWISE images of comet Pan-STARRS in May 2014. The comet was only about 143 million miles (230 million kilometers) from Earth when this picture was taken. It is seen passing a much more distant spiral galaxy, NGC 3726.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/WISE Team
June 17, 2014
2MASS mosaic of part of Baade's Window, an important low-extinction field for observing the bulge of the Milky Way. This mosaic covers 0.64 by 1.15 degrees. Other data sets at IRSA covering this field include the Spitzer GLIMPSE program and the BRAVA contributed data set.

Image credit: S. Van Dyk (IPAC)
May 28, 2014
Planck's view of Orion shows most of the constellation Orion, highlighting turbid clouds of cold material, where new stars are being stirred into existence. This 13 by 13 degree image combines Planck's 30, 353, and 857 GHz channels. The Orion Nebula is visible in the lower center, the Horsehead Nebula is to the right of center. The giant red arc of Barnard's Loop is thought to be the blast wave from a star that blew up inside the region about two million years ago. The bubble it created is now about 300 light-years across.

Image credit: ESA/LFI & HFI Consortia.
April 15, 2014
This image combines WISE and Spitzer data to show dust associated with the blast wave from RCW 86. The supernova was recorded by Chinese astronomers in 185 AD, making it the oldest documented supernova.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA
March 18, 2014
This image of the Small Magellanic Cloud combines Herschel (100, 160, and 250 micron) data from the HERITAGE key program with Spitzer (24, 70 micron) data from the SAGE Legacy program. A stream of dust extends to the left in this image, known as the galaxy's "wing," and a bar of star formation appears on the right.

Image credit: ESA/NASA/JPL-Caltech/STScI
February 18, 2014
This 2MASS Atlas Image Mosaic shows the heart of the Virgo Cluster of galaxies. This famous galaxy cluster, seen toward the constellation Virgo and covering in total more than 7 degrees on the sky, is the closest large cluster to us, at a distance of about 17 Mpc. This 50' by 50' field includes M86 and M84 (center right).

Image credit: T. Jarrett (IPAC)
December 19, 2013
In this Spitzer and ALMA image of HH46/47, blue shows gas energized by the outflowing jets. The green colors trace a combination of hydrogen gas molecules and dust that follows the boundary of the gas cloud cocooning the young star. The reddish-colored areas, created by excited carbon monoxide gas, reveal that the gas in the two lobes blown out by the star's jets is expanding faster than previously thought.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ALMA
November 13, 2013
WISE image of the Witch Head Nebula (IC 2118). The Witch Head Nebula is estimated to be hundreds of light-years away in the Orion constellation, just off the famous hunter's knee.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/WISE Team
October 15, 2013
The image shows the background light from the Big Bang being lensed by foreground dark matter structure which is located between us and the epoch at which the Universe became transparent. The Planck mission concludes operations on 23 October 2013.

Image credit: ESA and the Planck collaboration
August 22, 2013
This artist's concept shows the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE spacecraft, in its orbit around Earth. In September of 2013, engineers will attempt to bring the mission out of hibernation to hunt for more asteroids and comets in a project called NEOWISE.

From 2010 to 2011, the WISE mission scanned the sky twice in infrared light not just for asteroids and comets but also stars, galaxies and other objects. Back then, the asteroid-hunting portion of the mission was named NEOWISE, which combines the acronyms for near-Earth objects (NEOs) and WISE. NEOs are those asteroids with orbits that come relatively close to Earth. Now, in its second "lease on life," the mission will be dedicated to asteroid and comet surveying.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
July 8, 2013
There are nearly 200 galaxies in this image from Spitzer. These are part of the Perseus-Pisces supercluster of galaxies located 250 million light-years away. Normally, galaxies beyond our Milky Way are hidden from view when they happen to fall behind the plane of our galaxy. This is due to foreground dust standing in the way.

Spitzer's Galactic Legacy Infrared Mid-Plane Survey Extraordinaire 360, or Glimpse 360 project, is pointing Spitzer away from the galactic center, to complete a full 360-degree scan of the Milky Way plane. It has captures many images in the process, such as this one, revealing hidden objects.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Wisconsin
May 15, 2013
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)
April 18, 2013
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
March 21, 2013
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
February 20, 2013
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
January 4, 2013
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
October 29, 2012
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
September 21, 2012
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)
August 27, 2012
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
July 31, 2012
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)
June 21, 2012
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)
March 14, 2012
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
February 23, 2012
The Moon as seen in the mid-IR by MSX.
Image credit: DCATT Team, MSX Project, BMDO
January 12, 2012
A portion of the Triffid Nebula from the Spitzer Enhanced Imaging Super Mosaics.
Image credit: J. Llamas (IPAC)
December 19, 2011
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
October 19, 2011
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).
September 21, 2011
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)
August 18, 2011
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
July 19, 2011
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
June 15, 2011
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)
May 19, 2011
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)
April 4, 2011
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
March 9, 2011
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
January 12, 2011
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
December 15, 2010
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
November 18, 2010
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)
October 11, 2010
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).
September 2, 2010
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).
August 5, 2010
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.
July 8, 2010
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.
June 2, 2010
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).
April 29, 2010
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).
April 1, 2010
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.
March 3, 2010
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.
February 2, 2010
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
November 9, 2009
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).
October 7, 2009
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).
September 9, 2009
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).
August 5, 2009
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).
July 8, 2009
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.
April 20, 2009
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.
November 14, 2008
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.
September 17, 2008

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.

July 29, 2008

Sky coverage in Galactic coordinates of IRSA's image sets, excluding the large-area/all-sky surveys 2MASS, DENIS, IRAS, and USNO-B. The zoomed-in image shows the color mapping (upper right) of the main figure, grey representing one coverage and dark pink representing eight. The inset in the lower right of the zoomed-in figure shows the 2MASS Extended Mission image coverage (not included in the main image), where areas of higher coverage are shown in darker, bluer colors. Regions of special astrophysical interest on the main figure are marked.

May 21, 2008

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.

January 30, 2008

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.

November 15, 2007

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.

The on-request image mosaic service has been extended to support mosaics of the 2MASS All Sky Atlas and of the 2MASS Full Survey Image Atlas.

October 4, 2007

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.

August 13, 2007

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).

May 15, 2007

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.

February 28, 2007
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.
January 25, 2007
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.
November 27, 2006
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.
August 24, 2006
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.
June 26, 2006
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.