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Published September 2008 | Published
Journal Article Open

The Spitzer view of the extragalactic universe


The Spitzer Space Telescope was launched in August 2003. Scientists from around the world have applied its orders-of-magnitude gain in imaging and spectroscopic capability to a wide array of topics in extragalactic research. Spitzer studies have found massive galaxies at redshifts greater than 6, resolved the cosmic background at 200 μm > λ > 20 μm into the dusty infrared-luminous galaxies that comprise it, directly detected dust-enshrouded star formation, and measured the star formation history of the universe to z > 3. In this review we examine a small fraction of the extragalactic studies from Spitzer that have been conducted in its first three years of operations.

Additional Information

© 2008 Annual Reviews. We wish to acknowledge all the people whose work we have been able to cite, as well as those researchers whose work we were unable to cite because of lack of space, and we thank many members of the Spitzer community for providing suggestions and preprints. It is especially appropriate to acknowledge the instrument teams whose beautiful handiwork has led to the spectacular results we have described—the IRAC team led by Giovanni Fazio, the IRS team led by James Houck, and the MIPS team led by George Rieke. We thank E. van Dishoeck, B. Brandl, R. Genzel, G. Rieke, and G. Neugebauer for commenting on the manuscript. We also thank Marilyn Morgan, Mary Young, and Jim Jackson for editorial assistance, and Caroline Bot for assistance in preparing Figure 13. This work was supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Part of this work was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with NASA.

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