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Infrared Astronomy

The study of infrared energy produced by astronomical objects. Infrared is a form of energy with a longer wavelength and lower frequency than visible light. It is produced by relatively cool objects, such as planetary systems and clouds of interstellar dust. Earth’s atmosphere absorbs most infrared energy, so it is best studied with telescopes in space or aboard high-altitude balloons or aircraft.

Featured Images

infrared view of embryonic star firing jets into the material around it

Shocking Behavior September 15, 2023

Infrared view of the Coronet star cluster, a stellar nursery

Spidery Nebula May 18, 2023

a huge cloud of gas and newly forming stars make up the vulpecula OB-1 association

Future Fireworks March 18, 2023

jwst image of neptune, rings, triton, and other moons

Peeking at a Giant September 24, 2022

the sofia observatory will be grounded by the end of september 2022

Grounded September 6, 2022

direct images of two new planets

New Planets December 15, 2021

Multi-spectral view of Cassiopeia A, a supernova remnant

Brilliant Demise October 26, 2020

Infrared view of Jupiter

Blazing Giant May 9, 2020

Artist's concept of Spitzer Space Telescope

Saying Goodbye January 30, 2020

Infrared view of Lambda Centauri Nebula

A WISE spacecraft December 14, 2019

The star system Apep, which may detonate as a gamma-ray burst

Spooky Star August 15, 2019

Infrared view of a stellar nursery in Cepheus

Busy Nursery June 3, 2019

W40 stellar nursery

Delicate Butterfly March 28, 2019

Glowing Planets August 25, 2018

Combined optical, infrared view of the Crab Nebula

Colorful Crab April 19, 2018

Infrared image of Alpha Camelopardalis

Plowing Through the Galaxy January 25, 2017

Artist's concept of 2016 WF9

Heading In January 1, 2017

Cassini infrared view of Titan

Through the Smog July 15, 2016

Infrared view of the Orion Nebula

Brilliant Nursery July 12, 2016

Cloud Stripes June 26, 2016

Infrared image of a bow shock in front of a fast star

Shocking Star January 7, 2016

Infrared view of the interstellar medium

Filling the Void April 9, 2015

Radio Programs

Grounded Grounding a high-flying observatory September 6, 2022

Infrared Seeing beyond the range of the human eye May 11, 2022

Moon and Aldebaran The cool glow of a bright star February 20, 2021

WISE Getting “wise” to the infrared sky December 14, 2019

Messy Births The messy process of making planets October 24, 2019

Moon and Companions A star’s unseeable brightness July 12, 2019

Vega Stirring up dust around a bright star June 14, 2019

Stretching Out The universe stretches out December 10, 2018

Spitzer Space Telescope New targets for a space telescope August 25, 2018

IRS 7 A giant in the heart of the Milky Way July 10, 2018