NASA’s Spitzer Illuminates Exoplanets in Astronomical Society Briefing

This illustration shows what clouds might look like in the atmosphere of a brown dwarf. Using NASA’s retired Spitzer Space Telescope, scientists were able to detect clouds and other weather features in brown dwarf atmospheres. (Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/IPAC/T. Pyle)

The infrared observatory may help answer questions about planets outside our solar system, or exoplanets, including how they form and what drives weather in their atmospheres.

PASADENA, Calif. (NASA PR) — Two new studies using data from NASA’s retired Spitzer Space Telescope shed light on giant exoplanets and brown dwarfs, objects that aren’t quite stars but aren’t quite planets either. Both studies will be the focus of virtual news conferences hosted by the American Astronomical Society on Jan. 13.