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The iconic MIT home page Spotlight features a daily-changing image and design that focuses on advances in research, technology and education taking place at the Institute. Though some Spotlights do run multiple days - for example Friday's spot usually runs through the weekend, we work very hard to maintain the daily-changing tradition. We've combed our servers and have compiled a digital archive of the Institute home page through the years - well over 2000 images. Enjoy!
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Great pumpkinsToday’s Spotlight features a photograph, taken by Michael Greshko, of pumpkins from the 2014 Great Glass Pumpkin Patch sale.

The Great Glass Pumpkin Patch is an annual installation of over 2,000 handblown glass pumpkins, created by artists from the MIT Glass Lab. Proceeds from this event benefit The MIT Glass Lab, where the MIT community can learn and practice the art of glassblowing.

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The MIT home page Spotlight showcases the research, technology and education advances taking place at the Institute every day.

What makes it as a Spotlight image is an editorial decision by the MIT News Office based on factors that include timeliness, promotion of MIT's mission, the balance of interest to both internal and external audiences, and appropriateness.

We do welcome ideas and submissions for spotlights from community members, but please note we are not able to accommodate all requests. We are unable to run event previews or promotions as spotlights; for those looking to promote an event, we are happy to include your listing as an event headline on the homepage (when space is available). For more information, e-mail the spotlight team.

Request a Spotlight or Event Headline, here.
Stars in the making

Stars in the making

Today’s Spotlight uses an illustration, courtesy of the European Space Organization/M. Kornmesser, of ULAS J1120+0641, the far-distant quasar researchers studied to peer far back in time to the era of the first stars.

As far back in time as astronomers have been able to see, the universe has had some trace of heavy elements, such as carbon and oxygen. These elements, originally churned from the explosion of massive stars, formed the building blocks for planetary bodies, and eventually for life on Earth.

Now researchers at MIT, the California Institute of Technology, and the University of California at San Diego have peered far back in time, to the era of the first stars and galaxies, and found matter with no discernible trace of heavy elements. To make this measurement, the team analyzed light from the most distant known quasar, a galactic nucleus more than 13 billion light‑years from Earth.

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