For more than 16 years, starting with its launch in 2003, the Spitzer Space Telescope, which will cease operations at the end of this month, has provided us with an unprecedented view of the universe at infrared wavelengths, invisible to the human eye. Spitzer’s explorations—as described in over 8,600 refereed papers, dozens of PhD theses, innumerable conference abstracts and talks and several books—range from determining the sizes of near-Earth asteroids to measuring the mass and age of the stars in the most distant galaxies. Spitzer has had a major impact in no fewer than five major areas of astronomical research:

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