Observations of M81 were taken with the Spitzer Space Telescope (SST) during instrument commissioning to highlight the capabilities of the Multiband Imaging Photometry (MIPS) and Infrared Array Camera (IRAC) instruments. The SST images resolve this classic grand design spiral galaxy at impressive resolution and depth for the first time. For more information, see the the official SST site.
These images give a taste of what the SST will do for our undestanding of galaxies and galaxy evolution. M81 is part of the SIRTF Nearby Galaxies Survery (SINGS) Legacy program. SINGS will observe a total of 75 galaxies with all three SST science instruments. The SINGS team (lead by Robert Kennicutt) kindly allowed M81 to be imaged with MIPS and IRAC as part of the SST Early Release Observations. The SINGS observations of M81 will be deeper and more complete than the observations presented here.
The MIPS images were taken by a team composed for Karl Gordon, Chad Engelbracht, Almudena Alonso-Herroro, Pablo Perez-Gonzalez, George Rieke, Karl Misselt, Marcia Rieke, Robert Kennicutt, and Joannah Hinz all located at the University of Arizona. The IRAC images were taken by a team composed of Steve Willner, Matthew Ashby, Pauline Barmby, Giovanni Fazio, and Michael Pahre all located at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Additional members of the wider M81 ERO team include George Helou, Philip Appleton, David Frayer, Susan Stolovy, and Lisa Storrie-Lombardi all located at the SIRTF Science Center/Infrared Processing Center, Caltech.
Copyright © 2003 Karl D. Gordon All Rights Reserved