PIA26271: Rho Ophiuchi Imaged by IRAS
 Instrument:  IRAS
 Product Size:  1200 x 675 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  JPL
 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA26271.tif (1.835 MB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA26271.jpg (42.5 kB)

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This image of the star-forming region Rho Ophiuchi was taken in 1983 by the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS), the first infrared telescope ever launched into Earth orbit. Infrared light refers to wavelengths slightly longer than what human eyes can see. Most infrared wavelengths are blocked by Earth's atmosphere, so infrared space telescopes are essential for observing the full breadth of infrared light from cosmic sources. Rho Ophiuchi's thick clouds of gas and dust block visible light, but IRAS' infrared vision made it the first observatory to be able to pierce those layers to reveal newborn stars nestled deep inside.

IRAS was a joint project of NASA, the Netherlands Agency for Aerospace Programmes, and the United Kingdom's Science and Engineering Research Council. The mission was managed for NASA by the agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Caltech in Pasadena, California, manages JPL for NASA.

For more information about IRAS, visit:


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