Where is the Spitzer Space Telescope? (Beginner)

How far out is the Spitzer Space Telescope? Is it in the same orbit as the Hubble?

Spitzer is much farther out than Hubble. Spitzer orbits the Sun, following the Earth. It is moving away from Earth at about 15,000,000 km per year (9,300,000 miles per year). Spitzer was launched at the end of August, 2003, so it has been up for about 12 years (as of 2015), putting it at around 180,000,000 km (110,000,000 miles) away from the Earth now. For more on Spitzer's orbit see: http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/mission/where_is_spitzer.

Hubble, on the other hand, orbits the Earth about 600 km (370 miles) above the Earth's surface (see http://science.nasa.gov/iSat/?group=SMD&satellite=20580). That is close by in comparison to Spitzer!

 

This page was last updated July 18, 2015.

About the Author

Shannon Gutenkunst

Shannon uses the Spitzer Space Telescope to study galaxies and planetary nebulae.

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