Space infrared telescope could provide new insights into some solar system objects



NASA's Space Infrared Telescope Facility, which launched on 25 August, promises to open windows about objects within our own solar system, as well as provide a better understanding about galactic and intergalactic objects and phenomena and the early universe.

The infrared observatory offers new capabilities to explore and characterize aspects of the solar system which cannot be observed from the ground, including some Kuiper Belt objects, distant planets and satellites, asteroids and comets, and interplanetary dust, according to SIRTF solar system observations scientist Victoria Meadows. The observatory could provide new insights into specific targets through the enhanced observational sensitivity and new measurement capabilities it offers at the 3–180 micron wavelengths.