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NASA Spitzer Space Telescope • Jet Propulsion Laboratory
• California Institute of Technology
• Vision for Space Exploration
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Frame Frame About the Spitzer Space Telescope Frame Frame
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Fast Facts
 
Current Status
 
Spitzer History
 
Spitzer Technology
 
— Overview
 
— Cryo-Telescope Assembly
 
—— Telescope
 
—— MIC
 
——— IRAC
 
——— IRS
 
——— MIPS
 
—— Cryostat
 
—— Outer Shell
 
— Spacecraft
 
—— Solar Panels
 
—— Spacecraft Bus
 
— Developments
 
Spitzer Science
 
Lyman Spitzer, Jr.
 
 

Spitzer's Infrared Spectrograph

IRS Diagram

The Infrared Spectrograph(IRS) is one of the three instruments onboard Spitzer and provides both high- and low-resolution spectroscopy at mid-infrared wavelengths. Spectrometers are instruments which spread light out into its constituent wavelengths creating a spectra. Within this spectra, astronomers can study emission and absorption lines: which are the fingerprints of atoms and molecules.

The IRS has four separate modules: a low-resolution, short-wavelength mode covering the 5.3-14 micron interval; a high-resolution, short-wavelength mode covering 10-19.5 microns; a low-resolution, long-wavelength mode for observations at 14-40 microns; and a high-resolution, long-wavelength mode for 19-37 microns. Each module has its own entrance slit to let infrared light in. The detectors are 128 x 128 arrays. The shorter-wavelength silicon detectors are treated with arsenic; the longer-wavelength silicon detectors are treated with antimony.

The IRS instrument consists of two physically separated parts, the cold assemblies which are located within the Spitzer multiple instrument chamber and the warm electronics, which are located in the Spitzer spacecraft bus. The IRS has no moving parts!



The Spitzer Space Telescope is a NASA mission managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. This website is maintained by the Spitzer Science Center, located on the campus of the California Institute of Technology and part of NASA's Infrared Processing and Analysis Center.

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