In 1609, 400 years ago, Galileo first turned his telescope towards the sky.
Now, to celebrate the International Year of Astronomy, Valentine’s Day, and Galileo’s birthday (Feb. 15) NASA is all giving sky lovers a gift. The agency is releasing giant images from its Great Observatories– the Hubble Space Telescope, Spitzer Space Telescope, and Chandra X-ray Observatory–to more than 100 planetariums, museums, nature centers, and schools across the country. You can see a preview of the images here.
The selected sites will each unveil a large, 9-square-foot print of the spiral galaxy Messier 101 that combines the optical view of Hubble, the infrared view of Spitzer, and the X-ray view of Chandra into one multiwavelength picture. Here’s a link to descriptions of the other images.
The unveilings will take place Feb. 14-28 at 76 museums and 40 schools and universities nationwide, reaching both big cities and small towns.