Science: Spectacular Shots in the Dark

Some out-of-this-world surprises from an infrared satellite

For ten months, the 2,249-lb. satellite has been tirelessly circling the earth, speeding from pole to pole once every 103 minutes at an altitude of 563 miles. Unlike most satellites, it has kept its eyes not on the earth below but on the vast expanses of the universe. During each orbit it surveys a different slice of the sky, obtaining a nearly complete picture of the heavens. Last week, at a jubilant press conference in Washington, D.C., the multinational team of scientists and engineers responsible for the orbital telescope known as IRAS (for Infrared Astronomical...

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