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NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope infrared view of the Andromeda Galaxy (Messier 31). Spitzer's 24-micron mosaic is the sharpest image ever taken of the dust in a spiral galaxy, other than our Milky Way. This multi-wavelength view combines images taken at 24 microns (blue), 70 microns (green), and 160 microns (red). Use of all 3 bands from the multiband imaging photometer allows the astronomers to measure the temperature of the dust by its color. The warmest dust is brightest at 24 microns, while the coolest is most evident at 160 microns. The blue/white areas have the hottest dust, as seen in the bulge and in the star-forming areas along the arms. The cooler dust make up the redder regions. Dust lanes would be faintly visible in places, but only where they can be seen in silhouette against background stars. (See BG2988). The data were taken on August 25, 2004, the one-year anniversary of the launch of the space telescope.
February 19th, 2013
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