The Universe has now been fully (coverage) mapped in the infrared, from the short wavelengths (2MASS) to the long wavelengths (COBE, IRAS), and with more targetted observations by such notable telescopes as ISO and Spitzer. The short wavelength data traces the light from stars, while the mid-infrared and far-infrared data trace the hot and cold dust emission, respectively. Here is a cartoon of the infrared spectrum. The following images show the Infrared Universe, observed by 2MASS, as seen from photospheric light from stars and galaxies.

Data: The images are derived from fundamental products of the Two Micron AllSky Survey, including the Point Source Catalog (PSC), Extended Source Catalog (XSC), AllSky Image Atlas, and the Large Galaxy Atlas. Here is a quick summary of 2MASS. The data is available from the Infrared Science Archive (IRSA).


Image Policy: Please email a note to Tom Jarrett ( to seek permission for reuse of these images. Posters are also available upon request (but in limited supply).

e-mail: Thomas Jarrett

[Last Updated: 2004 Feb 1; by Tom Jarrett]